Share this record

Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

LAFFAN, George Bastable

Born: 1849
Died: 1919 06 19


More active in South Africa as a civil engineer than an architect, Laffan was born in Cork, Ireland and received his training as a civil engineer in the British Isles, a graduate of the Roval University of Ireland. . He worked in England in London, in Croydon and in Twickenham where he married. At Croydon he designed and carried out a large portion of the well-known drainage works of that town, and at Twickenham he held the position of engineer to the District Council. Laffan came to Natal in 1898 to fill the post of Borough Engineer, Pietermaritzburg, being selected in England to fill that position.. He left in 1901 to enter into private practice in Pietermaritzburg in partnership with EJ WELLMAN (cf WELLMAN & LAFFAN) who had just won the competition for the Natal government railways headquarters building in Pietermaritzburg.

Laffan was a town councillor in Pietermaritzburg between 1901 and 1906, representing Ward 2 in the municipality of Pietermaritzburg. He was actively engaged upon engineering works in various parts of the Colony, such as drainage, street improvements, irrigation, etc, several of which were carried out under his supervision. Laffan's technical skill and experience proved of great service to the Borough of Pietermaritzburg. He strongly opposed extravagant expenditure in the Council, and advocated progressive schemes with due regard to economy. He was a founder member of the Natal Institute of Architects on the committee of which he served from 1908 until 1911. He died at his home, Silver Oaks in Morcom Road in Pietermaritzburg.

(Hillebrand 1975:184-85; NAD MSCE 4225/1919)

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.

Books citing LAFFAN

Lloyds Greater Britain Publishing. 1906. Twentieth century impressions of Natal : its people, commerce, industries, and resources. Durban: Lloyds Greater Britain Publishing. pp 233