TONKIN, Wilfred WisemanBorn: 1875 01 22
Year registered: 1927
LRIBA Johannesburg 1911
Was born in Frome, Somerset, England and educated at Rydal Mount College. He served articles with Silcock & Reay, architects in Bath, becoming their chief assistant architect. He left England for South Africa in 1898, arriving in Durban where he acted as chief assistant architect in turn to FYFE, KENT & PRICE and William LUCAS. In 1902 he joined the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT in Pretoria, becoming chief draughtsman under T TYRWHITT, ARIBA. In 1907 he was transferred to District Staffs organization as chief draughtsman; he was appointed Assistant Engineer in March 1908 and 2nd grade District Engineer, Cradock, in April 1912, in charge of PWD districts in several parts of the Union from January 1912. He remained in Cradock for some time, retiring from public service in January 1933 and moving to Bloemfontein where he set up independent practice in an office in St Andrew's Street in 1933, principally, it seems, as Gordon LEITH's supervising architect on the Bloemfontein City Hall to which job he was appointed by Leith in 1933. He was awarded the King's Silver Jubilee Medal 1935 and was Vice-President-in-Chief of the Institute of South African Architects 1940 and President-in-Chief in 1941.
(CSL Tvl 1905:98; ISAA mem list; LRIBA nom papers (1911) 1635; PSL 1914:254; SAAR May 1930:27; SAAR May 1935:132; SAB Apr 1934:23; SAB Jul 1940:43; SAWW 1908, 1910; UTD 1915)
All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.