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John Herbert Veasey

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John Herbert Veasey (1878-1938)


1938 Obituary [1]

JOHN HERBERT VEASEY, who had forty years' engineering experience in South Africa, was the founder of Veasey's Engineering College, Johannesburg, and for many years was experimenting engineer to the Transvaal Chamber of Mines.

He was born in 1878 at Nuneaton, where he received his education. From 1893 to 1896 he was articled to Mr. Joseph S. Pickering, civil engineer, and he received a further two years' training under Mr. F. W. Cross, of Walsall. He then left for Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and supervised the completion of Van Staadens pumping station. In 1899 he became assistant town engineer at Bulawayo, Rhodesia, but later joined the Rhodesian forces and served from the outbreak of the Boer War to the relief of Mafeking. From then until 1905 he was clerk of works at the Ayrshire Mine, Rhodesia, after which he was appointed manager of the Gaika Mine; after holding this position for two years he took up mining on his own account, returning to Johannesburg in 1913, when he became associated with Mr. E. J. Way, M.I.Mech.E.

In 1916 he was appointed mine overseer, under Mr. Way, at New Kleinfontein and a year later he received a similar appointment at Randfontein Central Mine. His important work for the Transvaal Chamber of Mines dated from 1919; it included investigating and reporting on all mechanical processes underground, particularly rock drilling, ventilation, and the prevention of dust, with a view to increasing the general efficiency of mines and to improving the working conditions. Mr. Veasey subsequently relinquished this post, to found the engineering college associated with his name.

In 1927 he became interested in flying, and he and his daughter were the first people to fly from Johannesburg to Durban and back in the same day. In 1930 he went with his son to the Belgian Congo, where he inaugurated an air mail service from Elizabethville to Broken Hill, in conjunction with Imperial Airways, Ltd. He afterwards returned to Johannesburg to re-join the Chamber of Mines as technical adviser to the patents committee. His death occurred in Johannesburg on 24th April 1938.

He had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1923, and was also an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.


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