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Biographies

HOLDERNESS, Drummond, (1887 - 1946)

Drummond Holderness

D. Holderness, 1934-35. Past Presidents Album 1914-1966. IPENZ

Drummond Holderness was born at Christchurch on 15th March 1887, and died at Auckland on 8th December 1946. He was educated at Christ's College, Christchurch, and received his technical training at Canterbury College where he gained Associateship (Mechanical) of the School of Engineering in 1906. He began his professional career in 1907 as Assistant Engineer to the Lyttelton Harbour Board. In 1908 he joined the staff of the Auckland Harbour Board as Testing Officer, serving later as Inspecting Engineer. In 1912 he became Chief Assistant Engineer, holding this position for thirteen years except for a period during the First World War when he served in New Zealand as a lieutenant in the New Zealand Engineers.

In 1925, Mr Holderness became Chief Engineer, and in 1936, Superintendent and Engineer to the Auckland Harbour Board, holding this position until his death. In 1925 he reported on the Harbour Development Plan for the Port of Auckland, and in the succeeding twenty years he supervised the expenditure of £3,000,000 on new works. These included the Western Reclamation and Viaduct Approach with rolling lift bridge. the development of a terminal for flying boats, the expansion of facilities at Calliope Graving Dock, the construction of new passenger and vehicular ferry landings, of pleasure boat harbours, and of the export wharf specially equipped for refrigerated cargo handling. During the Second World War he supervised works undertaken in connection with the use of the port as a supply base by the United States Armed Forces. He served on many inquiry commissions set up to report on harbour and other engineering works in New Zealand, viz., on Timaru Harbour (1928) , Lyttelton Road Tunnel (1930), Napier and Waikokupu Harbours (1932), Hutt Valley Development Works Commission (1944), and Harbours of Westport and Greymouth (1945).

Mr Holderness was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 9th March 1915. And was transferred to the class of Member on 9th June 1925. He held the position of Chairman of the Advisory Committee for New Zealand from 1938 to 1942.

He was elected a Member of the New Zealand Institution of Engineers on 21st December 1925, and served as member of Council for fifteen years (1929-44), holding the office of President in 1934; he was Chairman of the Engineer's Rehabilitation Committee (Auckland) at the time of his death. He gave constant support to the Auckland Branch of the Institution, holding office on the committee and as Chairman in 1929 and 1930.

Mr. Holderness was a member of the council of the Auckland Sailors' Home, a member of the Auckland Institute, of the Auckland Society of Arts, and of the Auckland Horticultural Society.

In 1915 he married Helen Maud, daughter of Captain T Dawson, of 67th Regiment Hampshires, and had one son, Mr T D I Holderness, of Motukarara, Christchurch.

Extract from The Proceedings of NZ Institution of Engineers, 1947, p 524