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HALLÉ, Gustav Gregory Richard

Born: 1851 05 09
Died: 1934 06 19


Hallé, born in Greenheys in Manchester, England, was the son of Sir Charles Hallé (d.1895) the musician who founded the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester. He was educated at King's College School in London, at Oscott College in Birmingham and at the English College in Berlin, training as a mechanical and civil engineer. Among the works with which he was involved in England was the Albert Docks in London. He was appointed assistant superintendent of the South Eastern Railways in Britain, a post he held from 1875 until 1880 when he left for South Africa for health reasons. At first he settled in Kimberley where he entered into partnership with GS REES (REES & HALLÉ) but in 1882 took up a post in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State as the first Inspector of Public Works and Government Engineer of the Free State Government. He remained in this position for five years until 1887, responsible for bridges and 'nearly four hundred public buildings including five magistrates' offices eleven jails, nine post offices, eight schools, three teachers' residences, eight residences for prison staff, three police houses, one sanatorium, one barracks and sundry repairs' (NWW 1933). He also supervised the erection of the Presidency in Bloemfontein. At the same time that he was employed he was also working on jobs with Carl SCHURMANN, a civil engineer and designer for the railways. In 1886, owing to the depression of the 1880s, Hallé was retrenched and left the Free State. For a period from 1887 until 1893 he was involved in gold speculation and concessions in the Transvaal and Swaziland and 'assisted in defeating Krugerian designs on Swaziland' (NWW 1933). It appears that he was living in Johannesburg in about 1893 since he became a leader writer for 'The Star' and the editor of 'The Critic' and 'The Transvaal Independent' and was thus employed until 1898 and the start of the Anglo-Boer War. He served in the British Intelligence Service during the war, for which duties he was later awarded a medal. After the war Hallé resumed writing and became the editor of the Natal Advertiser, a post he held for ten years from 1906 until 1917. As editor he was pro-Federation and in 1909 founded the Citizen's League. At some point around 1917 he assisted in the defeat of two tram strikes in Durban, retiring from his position with the Advertiser owing to eye trouble, but ran a weekly paper (not identified) for five years, half-blind. His last job was as music and dramatic critic on the 'Natal Mercury' from 1924 until 1931, a job for which he was well-qualified having run the Natal Eisteddfod from 1909 until 1929. Hallé finally retired in 1931 on the death of his wife. In retirement he wrote his recollections and in 1933 he was living at Wessels Nek, Natal but died at E8, Electricity Supply Commission, Colenso - his profession at death given as retired journalist.

(NAD MSCE 21122/1934; Ntl Mercury 30 Jun 1934; NWW 1933). Publ: Mayfair to Maritzburg, John Murray, London. 1933.

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.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Gaol: 1891. Boshof, Free State - Design Architect
Police Station: 1890s. Vredefort, Free State - Design Architect
Presidency: 1884-1886. Bloemfontein, Free State - Supervising Architect

Books by HALLÉ

Hallé, Gustave GR. 1933. Mayfair to Maritzburg : reminiscences of eighty years. London: John Murray

Books citing HALLÉ

HSRC. 1987. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume V. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pp 317-318

Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1971. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 3 Cal-Dev. Cape Town: Nasou. pp 544

Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1973. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 8 Mus-Pop. Cape Town: Nasou. pp 190

Schoeman, Karel. 1980. Bloemfontein: die ontstaan van n stad. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau. pp 69, 100, 102

Schoeman, Karel. 1982. Vrystaatse erfenis : Bouwerk en geboue in die 19de eeu. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau. pp 21, 47, 52, 60, 66, 87, 91-93, 100, fig 49 pg 93 portrait