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United Building Society
East London, Eastern Cape

Francis Owen EATON: Architect

Street:Oxford Street


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33°00'56.05" S 27°54'15.59" E Alt: 60m

Transcription of newspaper article describing the opening ceremony held on 14 July 1954


Large Crowd Attends

East London's tallest building, the new seven storeys premises of the United Building Society, was officially opened yesterday afternoon by the Society's Chairman, Mr D.F. Corlett, J.P. A large crowd attended the opening ceremony, which was followed by a reception and cocktail party at King's Hotel.

On the corner of Oxford and Gladstone Streets, the magnificent new structure is the seventh building completed by the Society since the war.

Mr. W. Osmond, whose firm, Osmond and Lange, was associated with Mr. F.O. Eaton, of Port Elizabeth, in the architectural work of the building, handed a silver casket containing the key to the front door of the new premises to Mr. Corlett who then declared the building open.

Mr. Corlett joined the Board in 1924 when the Society's assets were £1,424,000. In 1938 when he was appointed chairman, the assets totalled £12,124,000. At September 30, last year, the assets were £103,242,000.

Mr. Corlett, who was a Johannesburg city councillor for 21 years, including a term as Mayor in 1931-32, was the second Freeman of the City of Johannesburg. He was the first chairman of the Association of Building Societies of South Africa and has been president of the Witwatersrand Master Builders' Association and the National Federation of Building Trade Employers. He was a member of the Public Debt Commission and has served on many educational and social bodies.

Mr. Corlett was the principal speaker at the reception which followed the opening ceremony.

Ref: Daily Dispatch, 15 July 1954.

Copy of cutting provided by Glen Hartwig, Librarian, East London Reference Library.

Submitted by William MARTINSON

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.