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Born: fl. 1889
Died: 1923


He was born in the village of Strijen, located in the Hoeksche Waard at the mouth of the Maas River near the city of Dordrecht (in the Netherlands). On 28 February 1879 he married Davina Deyermans, born 2 March 1855, also of Strijen. Their four eldest children were born in Amsterdam and their youngest son in Pretoria. Arriving in the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek [ZAR] in 1889 (Ploeger etc, 1989: 232): 'one of the old school of Dutch Architects who established themselves in the Transvaal in the old Republican days' (Building Jun 1923:43). On 28 April 1890 he was employed in the Netherlands by the Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij (NZASM) as a supervisor. His task was to act on the orders of the engineer stationed at Pretoria to supervise locally the construction of the new railway line from Elandsfontein (Germiston) to Vereeniging. His wife and children followed him to South Africa in 1893 where they went to live in Pretoria. On 1 July 1898 he was appointed assistant engineer of the Council of Pretoria. He was naturalized as a citizen of the ZAR on 5 June 1898 and attained full citizenship on 12 October 1899 (thus the day after the declaration of war). On 22 November 1899 he was appointed ‘sanitary inspector’ at the so-called ‘donkey camp’ where the British prisoners of war were housed. After the annexation of Pretoria by the British troops, he was discharged from the service of the City Council. After the war he was employed as a temporary draftsman at the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT of the TRANSVAAL COLONY. However, he began to draw up plans privately, many dwellings in old Pretoria being designed by him, including the house of the Neethling family in Brook Street, Brooklyn. He is recorded (although spelt Westmass) as living at 681 Mears Street, Sunnyside Pretoria in the Longland's Directory of 1899. He was an accomplished organ player and organist at the Du toit Street Hervormde Kerk which he had designed as well as raising monies for the installation of a new organ. He had an organ in prime place at his home which he lovingly played (Stuttenhei, Hennie. 1986. Die Hervormer. Pretoria. p.11.)

(Building Jun 1918:164; Building Mar 1919:255; Building Jun 1923:43 obit; UTD 1915; Kesting 1978; Stuttenheim, 1986:11)

These notes were last edited on 2021 01 28

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.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

House Neethling: n.d.. Brooklyn, Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect
Nederduitse Hervormde Kerk: 1913. Bronkhorstspruit, Mpumalanga - Architect
Nederduitse Hervormde Kerk: 1921. Modimolle (Nylstroom), Limpopo - Architect
Nederduitse Hervormde Kerk: 1913. Ventersdorp, North West - Architect
Osborne House: n.d.. Brooklyn, Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect

Books citing WESTMAAS

Longland. 1979. Longland's Pretoria Directory for 1899 (Reprint No. 85). Pretoria: The State Library. pp 176

Ploeger, Jan. 1994. Nederlanders in die Transvaal 1850-1950. Pretoria: Van Schaik. pp 148

Ploeger, Jan & De Kock, Gideon de V. 1989. Nederlandse emigrasie na Suid-Afrika 1800-1900. Port Elizabeth: University of Port Elizabeth. pp 232