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Richard Proctor-Sims

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Richard Proctor-Sims ( -1900)

1900 Obituary [1]

RICHARD PROCTOR-SIMS died on the 31st May, 1900, at Port Albert Victor, in the Bhavnagar State of Kathiawar in Western India.

He began his professional career as an Assistant Engineer on the staff of the Bombay Municipality, which post he resigned in 1864 to join the engineering staff of the Back Bay Reclamation Company.

On the termination of this Company’s work, he was appointed in December, 1869, Executive Engineer for Local Funds in the Nassick districts, and later, on the abolition of the Local Fund Department, he was transferred to Government service as 4th grade Executive Engineer in the Bombay Public Works Department.

In the year 1875, at the request of the Administrators of the Bhavnagar State, Mr. Proctor-Sims’ services were lent as State Engineer, and for the following twenty-five years till the date of his death he devoted himself not only to the engineering, but also to the general welfare of the State of Bhavnagar. One of his first cares was the organization of the State Public Works Department and the introduction of a Public Works code and system of accounts.

In addition to the ordinary routine work of a State Engineer, which included the construction of 130 miles of roads with their necessary bridges, and the water-supply and sanitation of Bhavnagar City, the following notable buildings were either designed or carried out by Mr. Proctor-Sims the High School, the High Court, the Anglo-Vernacular School, the Nilambag Palace, the Samaldas College, and the Takhtsingji Hospital, the last named being designed by Mr. William Emerson.

Mr. Proctor-Sims devoted much attention to the harbour works of the State, Having done much to improve the Port of Bhavnagar, he was interesting himself in developing the new Port Albert Victor, and it was during the famine in May, 1900, while organizing relief works at this Port that he fell a victim to cholera which was raging in the district.

AS the most trusted European official in the State Mr. Proctor- Sims was constantly consulted by the Maharajah on important measures other than those connected with engineering. The horse-breeding operations of the State and the Bhavnagar Imperial Lancers were practically organized by him; and indeed every matter of importance in the State, including its relations with the Imperial Government, was carried out either by him or under his guidance. Perhaps the department in which his work was most important was that of the Board of Control of the Kathiawar system of State Railways, in which the Bhavnagar State has a large interest.

Mr. Proctor-Sims was a man of great unselfishness, his hospitality was proverbial, and his genial social qualities made him liked everywhere. His untimely death was keenly felt, not only by the Maharajah, but by the people of the State generally, by whom he was universally trusted and respected.

Mr. Proctor-Sims was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 5th May, 1868, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 9th May, 1876.

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