Mr. Robert Anderson WYSE, Assoc. M. Inst. C.E., the oldest resident architect in East London, commenced life as an engineer, and the first four years of his residence in South Africa were spent in the service of the Cape Government Railways as Assistant Engineer and later as District Engineer. Born at Leith, Scotland, in 1865, he passed his school days in his own country, leaving school to be articled to an architect and an engineer. The latter calling appealed more strongly to him, and he followed it with some considerable success at home, eventually becoming an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Tiring of the sameness of life he sailed for South Africa and adventures in 1889, where, as mentioned above, he joined the Cape Government Railways. During this period he visited many different parts of the country and gained considerable insight into conditions of life in the Colonies.
In 1893 he resigned his position on the railways, and being attracted by East London, then a comparatively small place, though rapidly coming into prominence as one of the premier ports of the country, he decided to commence business there as an architect and engineer. Since settling down he has built up a fine practice, and has erected several large buildings, which are a credit to him and to the town. The principal among these are the National Hotel, Lennon's Buildings, and many private residences, both in town and in the suburbs. His latest addition to the architecture of East London is the offices of the "Daily News," which are now rapidly nearing completion.
Mr WYSE has built for himself an ideal residence, which he named "Abbotsford," and here he lives with his wife and children.
[Men of the Times - Old Colonists of the Cape Colony and Orange River Colony; The Transvaal Publishing Co, Johannesburg, Cape Town and London; 1906. p 435.]
The following name and business address was included under the 'Architects' category in the Red Book of 1906:
Wyse, R. A., 52, Terminus Street
Ref: East London and Frontier Red Book 1906, Standard Printing Co, East London, 270
[Submitted by William MARTINSON]
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.