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BECK, Thomas George Gordon, (1900 - 1948)

Mr Beck was born at Palmerston, Otago, 47 years ago, and completed his secondary school education at Otago Boys' High School. He joined the Public Works Department as a cadet in 1919, working in the North Auckland district, from where he was transferred to Arthur's Pass. He then went to Canterbury College, and, was subsequently transferred to the Dunedin Public Works District.

He was awarded a Commonwealth Fund Service Scholarship in 1931 and spent two years abroad, mostly in America, studying irrigation, drainage, and river control. On his return, Mr Beck was engaged on the investigations and preliminary surveys of irrigation work in Mid-Canterbury, and subsequently was engineer-in-charge of the construction of this work.

In 1940 Mr Beck became District Engineer at Christchurch, and in 1942 was transferred to Wellington in connection with defence construction, later being appointed Assistant Engineer-in-Chief, and subsequently Engineer-in-Chief of the PWD, Chairman of the Main Highways Board, and Chairman of the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Council. These appointments were relinquished on his appointment as Deputy Commissioner of Works in 1946.

Mr Beck became an Associate Member of the Institution in 1930. He served a term as a Member of Council from 1944 to 1946.

He died on 6th January, 1948, survived by his wife and four children.

This biography is from the Proceedings of NZIE, 1948, Vol. XXXIV, p 527.

Refer also to:

  • Obituary, New Zealand Engineering, February 1948, p 182
  • Noonan, Rosslyn J; "By Design", Ministry of Works, 1975, p 285, and also p 199