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Johann August

Plumber, Town Councillor & Mayor

Keith Tankard
Updated: 14 October 2009
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DEATH NOTICE: see the Cape Archives, MOOC 6/9/2528, No 2613.
OBITUARY: see the Daily Dispatch, 16.7.1923.

Johann August Goldschmidt was born in King William's Town in 1867 but he later moved to East London.

He took up the plumbing profession and established the firm JA Goldschmidt, manufacturers of tin, zinc and iron ware. His shop was in Union Street.

In 1908 he became a Justice of the Peace for East London. He was a keen sportsman and represented East London at rugby on several occasions.

In February 1901 he was elected to the Town Council as a member for Ward 3 and was re-elected unopposed in February 1904, 1907, 1910 and 1913.

He served no less than five terms as Mayor from 1908 until 1913 and one as Deputy Mayor in 1913.

This was a period of economic slowdown at East London. Following the dramatic economic growth of the 1890s -- East London's golden age -- the Boer War brought a short period of further expansion before a dramatic post-Boer War recession set in which would last until about 1910.

When the Great War of 1914-18 broke out, Goldschmidt decided to join the campaign and fought in East Africa but the activity broke his health.

On his return to East London, he was forced to give up his business and retired to a farm on the west bank of the Buffalo River, where he eventually suffered a stroke.

Johann Goldschmidt died on 15 July 1923, at the age of 56, and was buried at East London.

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