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William Goulden

Entrepreneur, Farmer & Town Councillor

Keith Tankard
Updated: 14 October 2009
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DEATH NOTICE: see the Master's Office, Cape Town, No. 33966.
OBITUARY: see the Daily Dispatch, 12.5.1932.

William Goulden was born in Lancashire in March 1850 and came to the Cape Colony as a young man.

He worked for a time in the service of the Cape Government Railways before branching out on his own as a produce merchant at East London. He became a Justice of the Peace at the port in 1905 but eventually settled down as a farmer at Egerton Park.

Goulden attempted to enter municipal politics in February 1901 when he opposed Arthur Lambart in Ward 2 but his name had become linked with that of Hermann Malcomess, a German merchant who had become unpopular because of his public declaration of neutrality during the Boer War.

It is possible that that militated against Goulden and he lost the election by a narrow margin.

He stood the following year against John Wiggins and again lost but eventually won the support of the townsmen and managed to defeat Frederick Hallett in Ward 1 in February 1903.

He served only one term as councillor before he retired on rotation in February 1906 and did not seek re-election.

East London during Goulden's early years was one of unprecedented prosperity. Indeed, the port went through a golden age with dramatic expansion, the introduction of electricity and a tramway, as well as the construction of the town hall.

The Great War, however, brought a downturn in the economy. This was followed by a short period of prosperity during the mid-1920s before the Great Depression took its toll.

Goulden died at his farm on 10 May 1932, at the age of 82.

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