Meckiff, John, Builder & Contractor (1849 – ?)

“John was born at Poplar, London, 28th October 1849, served his apprenticeship to Messrs. C. J. Mair and Co, shipbuilders, Millwall as a carpenter and joiner and was afterwards employed by Watts Brothers on several railway stations on the North London line. He arrived in Victoria in 1870 and was engaged as a foreman carpenter for Mr. Charles Carter, of Queen-street, for two years, on the additions to the residences of Mr. Stuart, P.M. Mr Ireland, Q.C. at Templestowe and Mr. Lynch at Brighton. In 1873, he contracted for the erection of Perry’s hay and corn store, butcher’s shop and two residences; in 1874 he was employed by Mr. Mitchell, the contractor, on the additional story to Sargood’s warehouse, Flinders Street; several warehouses in Flinders Lane, the Scots Church, Collinst Street; Mr Laidlaw’s residence Heidelberg, the Ladies College, East Melbourne, St. Stephen’s Church, Richmond; an additional story to Champion’s Hotel, Swanston Street; Mr. Rose’s residence, Templestowe; and the Victoria Coffee Palace, Collins Street. In 1875, he was foreman for Mr. James Moore, at the Catholic presbytery, South Melbourne &c. He was also employed by Messrs. Pickering and Sutherland at the State School, South Melbourne; and at Finley’s Brewery, South Richmond; and was then foreman for Messrs. Rawlings and Sayers, at Webster’s warehouse, Flinders Lane; the residences of Mr Bruce, South Yarra; and Mr. Newman, Mount View, Prahran. He then entered the employ of Messrs. Nation and Gamlie, and worked on the National Bank of Victoria, Collins Street; Briscoe’s warehouse, Little Collins Street; was foreman carpenter for the same firm at the Eastern Market, Lincoln and Stuart’s warehouse, Flinders Lane; Malls’ hay and corn store, Brunswick Street; fixed Fairbank’s scales and weigh bridges in the Exhibition 1881; was at the Colonial Bank, the Mutual Store, Selbourne chambers, the Mercantile bond and free stores; and was the foreman joiner for the same firm at their workshops, Church St, Richmond; re-instated their premises after the recent fire; superintended the work at a large number of mansions, residences and stores; George and George’s alterations; tramway workshops, Nicholson-street and engine-house, Punt Road. In 1885, Mr. Meckiff joined the firm of Sanders, Turner and Meckiff, builders and contractors, of Canning Street, and erected numerous terraces, dwellings &co.; also the Wesleyan Church in Sackville Street. This partnership dissolved in 1885, and the firm of Sanders and Meckiff was established in 1886. They have since built the engine house and chimney stack at the railway goods platform, and many large stores, hotels and dwellings throughout Melbourne and the suburbs and are still carrying out extensive contracts” (North Fitzroy Conservation Study, 1978, p.98).

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