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August Medefindt

Butcher, Entrepreneur, Town Councillor & Mayor

Keith Tankard
Updated: 14 October 2009
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It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the creator of The Labyrinth of East London Lore, Dr T., has passed away. Helping people through his website gave him no end of pleasure. If you had contact with him and would like to leave a message, please send us an e-mail here.

DEATH NOTICE: see the Master's Office, Cape Town, No 31415.
OBITUARY: see the Daily Dispatch, 24.8.1931.

August Friederick Wilhelm Medefindt was born at Koenigslutter (Germany) in February 1852. He served for a time in the German army but arrived in South Africa in November 1877 with a party of German immigrants on board the Sophie.

He fought in the Gcaleka War for the Kei Road Burghers, for which he was awarded a medal and clasp. He thereupon established himself as a butcher and later set up the East London Flour Milling Company, the first flour mill in the region. He also became a member of the Beach Hotel Company.

Medefindt was elected to the East London Town Council in February 1888 to represent Ward 3. He was thereupon re-elected in February 1891 and 1894 but in March 1895 his seat fell vacant because of his absence from the Colony while he was on long-leave.

He returned to the Council in January 1897 as a member for Ward 4, a seat he retained during elections in February 1899, 1902, 1905, 1908, 1911 and 1914, and served on the Council until 1916.

Medefindt was elected Deputy Mayor in 1902 and again in 1905, 1906 and 1907. In November 1902 he became Mayor when Arthur Lambart resigned the position and he remained in the chair during 1903 and 1904.

He was noted for his conservative policy to municipal finance. On retirement from the Council in 1916, after a record breaking 28 years service, he was awarded a gold life-pass for the tramways, the first and only time such an honour was ever bestowed.

Medefindt died on 23 August 1931, at the age of 79, and was buried at East London.

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