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MONZALI, Guido Raphael

Born: 1877 03


Cav. (Knight of Crown of Italy). Born at Zocca di Modena, Italy, 14th March, 1877; youngest son of late G. Monzali, Contractor, Zocca. Educ.: Modena, Italy.

Went to North America in 1891 and to St. Louis. Returned to Italy, 1983; then on to Vladivostock and on to the Sudan, where he worked on dam construction. Back to Italy in 1895. Then to Marseilles and Corsica, and later to Switzerland, taking up railway construction. Fought in Abyssinian War with 5th Regt. of Bersaglieri, in 1898. Returned to Switzerland and then to Australia. He was in Paris during the 1900 exhibition. His next contract took him to a railway company in Madagascar. Arrived in Durban (1901) and started on railway construction in Zululand. Later, obtained contracts between Maritzburg and Franklin; Stuartstown Railway at Ixopo; and returned to the Cape-Natal line in 1907. The Newcastle-Utrecht section then engaged him in 1908. Married, in 1909, at Newcastle, Michelina, only daughter of Signor Marcella Ricci, of Bologna, Italy; two sons, two daughters.

During 1910, he was on the Port Shepstone Northern Railway, and in 1911 on the Estcourt-Mooi River deviation; 1912-13 Bandolier Kop-Messina, and on the Maritzburg-Rietspruit deviation. Then to Zululand again. In 1914, he went to Greytown to mine gypsum. Later, after completing his contract on the Pentrich-Cato Road deviation he continued with the Cato-Ridge-Clairwood deviation (1917), building two of the longest tunnels in South Africa, each over 1,000 yards (914.40m) in length (Delville Wood and Shongweni); then in 1921, he commenced on the Nottingham Road-Cedara deviation. During 1928 he built one of the biggest viaducts in the country, at Chaka's Kraal. Contracted also for the DURBAN CORPORATION. Built the double-track railway bridge over the Umgeni River, 1,200 feet (365.76m) long (11 spans of 100 feet (30.48m) of 22 cylinders, and depth of rock level, 153 feet (46.63m)); being then considered the world’s deepest foundations; the Athlene Bridge to Durban North (1,372 feet (418.19m) long with six 200 (60.96m) feet spans), and the Gouritz Bridge, one of the biggest in the Union, being 216 (65.84m) feet from water level to rail level.

Address: P. O. Box 22, Maritzburg, Natal.

[A transcribed entry from Who's Who in Natal - with which is incorporated Women of Natal; The Knox Printing & Publishing Co; Durban; 1933. pg 175. Sent to us by William MARTINSON July 2010]

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.