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Alistair Douglas 






Alastair DouglasAlastair was born in November 1942 at the Nkana Mine Hospital, the is the fifth of seven children of the late William Bremner Douglas and his wife Gladys Petra, who were pioneers of the Zambian Copperbelt.

A South African, living in South Africa, his early years and most of his schooling took place in Chingola and in the Zambian midlands town of Broken Hill now Kabwe.

After rounding off his school career with two years as a cadet at the South African Nautical College ‘General Botha’, he began his mining career in 1961 as a learner miner on Bancroft.

In 1963 he enrolled at the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall. Where he met Gwen, a nursing sister, whom he married.

After graduating in 1966 he returned to the Copperbelt and worked as a shiftboss on Nkana’s South Ore Body section until 1968. He then visited South Africa, obtained his Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competency and successfully searched for a job.

The Cementation Company offered him an opportunity as a ‘Learner Master Sinker’ and he joined their crew at Hartebeestfontein No. 5 shaft. He was with this Company until his retirement at the beginning of 2006, taking over the Managing Director’s slot at Cementation Mining Skanska in 1989, Chairman in 2000 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer of The Cementation Company [Africa] in 2000.

Alastair was both a Professional and Chartered Engineer, South Africa and U.K. respectively and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

He authored several papers on shaft construction and contracting, of which, one was awarded the Gold Medal of the Association of Mine Managers’ of South Africa.

He was elected a Fellow of the SAIMM in 1989, served on their Council since 1992 and in 2001/2 was their 104th President. In 2003 he was created an Honorary Life Fellow of the Institute.

Alastair and Gwen lived in Johannesburg and had 3 sons and 3 daughters who have blessed them with 9 grandchildren at last count. He was a rugby devotee, regular angler, cyclist and mineral collector. He was an ‘Able Toastmaster’ past president of the ‘CIS Toastmaster’s Club of Johannesburg’ and a past chairman of the ‘Camborne School of Mines Association of South Africa’. He was also a keen member of the Gauteng Branch of the OBA and never missed a meeting if he could help it, in fact one memorable meeting at the Randfontein Club was fully sponsored by Alastair who picked up the tab for everything.


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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024