Sir George Mowlem Burt KBE was the first Immediate Past Master of Paviors’ Lodge 5646.
SIR GEORGE MOWLEM BURT, K.B.E., who was born on 10 January, 1884, died on 1 September, 1964.
Educated at Clifton College, hejoined John Mowlem and Company(a firm founded, with two other partners, by his grandfather) in 1902, and received his practical training there under Sir George Humphries (M) and Mr Harold Jones. In 1913 he was made co-director with his father, Mr George Burt,and for thneextsevenyearshandledprojectswhichincludedthediversion of a low-level sewer at Millbank forthe LCC, the Shellhaven new pier for the AsiaticPetroleum Company,andthe construction of a new berth at Thameshaven fortheLondonand Thameshaven Oil Wharves Ltd. His responsibilities increased in 1920when as supervising director of John Mowlem and Company he was in full charge of all engineering and building contracts. In 1961 he became President of the Mowlem organization. The forty-one intervening years were for him a period of intense activity, in which he super- vised the construction of the Embankment wall, near Lambeth Bridge, for the LCC, constructed a new quayat Millwall Docks, new booking-offices and passages at Piccadilly and Leicester Square Tube Stations, and undertook the laying of cables undertheThamesfrom Battersea Power Station. He was also responsible for escalators at the Bank and Monument tube stations, and for many heavy building foundations, including amongothers Lloyds, the National Provincial Bank in the City, and Thames House, Millbank (ICI). Sir George was one of the original twenty-three contractors who met under the chairmanship of the late Lord Cowdray to found the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, of which in later life he was twice president. He was knighted in 1942 and created K.B.E. in 1955. For twenty years (ten as chairman) he served on the Board of the Building Research Station, for five
years as chairmanof the FireResearch Station, and onthe Board of the Road Research Laboratoryforthesame period. In 1930he became president of the National Federation of Building and Public Works, taking an active part inthe Federation’s Fifth Conference, which was held in Britain that year. He served on a number of Government Committees and Missions, including the Ministry of Health Central Housing Advisory Committee, theCentral Council for Works & Buildings (Ministry of Works), and the 1942 Mission to America underLordPortalto studyAmerican building methods. He was chairman of theInter-Departmental Committee on Alternative Forms of House Construction (the Burt Committee).
Hewasthe authorofapaperpresentedto the Institutioin1944,‘Machinery and Plant in connexion with civil engineering construction’. J. 22 (May 1944), 128: Discussion: 159.
Despite prodigious activity in business and public affairs, his interests were not confined to engineering. Master of Foxhounds (Old Surrey and Burstow) from 1931-37, he was British Epee Champion in 1922 and twice represented Britain at the Epee in the Olympic Games.