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Henry Ries

Entrepreneur, Town Councillor & Deputy Mayor

Keith Tankard
Updated: 14 October 2009
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DEATH NOTICE: see the Cape Archives, MOOC 6/9/780, No 734.
OBITUARY: see the Daily Dispatch, 15.3.1915.

Henry Michael Ries was born in King William's Town in August 1869, spent five years of his boyhood in France before returning to East London to complete his schooling.

He became a clerk in the Market Master's Office, then joined Charles Humphrey and later worked for GB Christian and Company.

He eventually established his own business, Henry Ries and Company, market agent and produce merchant, importer and wool merchant, and wine and spirit merchant.

He was also a commission agent, a commissioner on the Divisional Council, and served on both the Hospital Board and the East London School Board. In 1903 he attempted to enter Parliament by contesting the East London seat but was defeated by Sir Thomas Smartt.

Ries joined the Town Council in November 1894 when he was elected for Ward 2. He was re-elected in February 1895, 1896, 1899 and 1902.

His seat was declared vacant in August 1903 when he was overseas on long-leave but he was promptly re-elected in September. He served as Deputy Mayor in 1903.

Ries died on 13 March 1915 at the age of 45, and was buried at East London.

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