29 March 2015

John Annabell (1885–1944)

John Annabell was born on 10 May 1885, at Waverley, Taranaki. He was educated at the Waverley Public School and Wanganui Technical College. Later, Annabell worked with his father, John Annabell (Senior) who was a Registered Surveyor.

Annabell was a foundation Member of the Institute of Local Government Engineers of New Zealand. He carried this membership through when that body merged into the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers (now the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, IPENZ) in 1914. He maintained his membership throughout his life.

Between 1919 and 1925 Annabell was in private practice in Wanganui as Consulting Engineer to the Castlecliff Town Board, the Matipo Land and Building Company, the Wanganui College Board of Trustees, the Awatea Land Syndicate and the Wanganui Harbour Board.

Besides general engineering work, Annabell’s projects included subdivision surveys, the installation of the Castlecliff sewage and water supply schemes, the Imlay Freezing Works, the Durie Hill elevator and the Wanganui water supply.

In 1925, he was appointed Borough Engineer to the Blenheim Borough Council. During the next 16 years Annabell designed and supervised the installation of the sewage scheme, the extension of the water supply, street construction, sealing works, drains, bridges and other engineering.

He was appointed Engineer-Clerk to the Dargaville Borough Council in 1941 and remained in that position until 1942, when he became Engineering Surveyor to the Housing Department in Auckland.

Annabell passed away in Auckland on 29 November 1944, and was survived by his wife and two sons. His eldest son, Reynolds John Annabell (b.1912), was an Associate Member of IPENZ, as well as a Licensed Surveyor.

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Proceedings of New Zealand Institution of Engineers, Vol. 30 (1945), p.304.