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Frederick Joseph

Stevedore, Soldier & Town Councillor

Keith Tankard
Updated: 14 October 2009
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DEATH NOTICE: see the Cape Archives, MOOC 6/9/628, No 3430.
OBITUARY: see the Daily Dispatch, 16.8.1909.

Frederick Joseph Hallett was born in Topsham (Devonshire) in 1845.

He arrived quite accidentally at East London in 1872 when his ship -- the Refuge on which he was First Mate -- was wrecked on the eastern bank and he was forced to start life from scratch in a strange town.

He took up residence on the West Bank, spent some years farming, then entered the stevedoring business. Eventually he became a shareholder in the East London Stevedoring Company.

He also served in the Gcaleka War and in 1899 became a Major and Commandant of the East London Town Guard. Later he became commodore of the East London Yachting Club.

Hallett was one of the few Town Councillors who desired to serve on the Council but struggled to win elections. He entered the Council in March 1894 when he unseated Phillip Grandin in Ward 1 but failed to gain re-election in February 1896.

He then defeated James Dallas in February 1897, was elected unopposed in February 1900 but lost to William Goulden in February 1903. He was returned unopposed for Ward 1 in May that year after James Dallas had resigned but lost again in February 1904.

His two further attempts to re-enter the Council in February 1905 and 1908 both failed.

Hallet died on 15 August 1909 at the age of 64 and was buried at East London.

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