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John Wiggins

Attorney & Town Councillor

Keith Tankard
Knowledge4Africa.com
Updated: 14 October 2009
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OBITUARY: see the Daily Dispatch, 7.8.1954.

John James Gilby Wiggins was born in Weatherby, Yorkshire, on 18 August 1863, was educated at Harrogate and graduated in law at Clare College , Cambridge. He thereupon studied music in England and on the continent.

He arrived in South Africa in the 1890s and settled for three years in Queenstown where he was editor of the Queenstown Daily Representative and became an attorney and notary.

He moved to East London where he became Town Clerk from 1897 until 1898. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Beach Pavilion Company, as well as agent for the Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation.

He was an accomplished violinist, organist and was choirmaster at the St John's Church for some 20 years. He served for a time as the Swedish Vice-Consul but still practising as an attorney for 54 years, retiring only at the age of 87.

In April 1900 he decided to join the East London Town Council and was elected for Ward 1 and was re-elected in 1902 and 1905.

Although he did not seek re-election in February 1908, he attempted to make a come-back in July that year but lost to Isaac Mackenzie. He returned to the Council from 1929 until 1931.

Gilby Wiggins died on 6 August 1954 at the ripe old age of 91, and was buried at East London.

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