A builder of substance

STUART Logan wasn’t just an Albury mayor who loved to bicker with his fellow councillors — he was also a builder and a bicycle pioneer.

Albury’s Richard Lee has written a 152-page book to chronicle the life of one of the city’s movers and shakers of the early 20th century.

The title is Stuart McKenzie Logan: Architect and Agitator. The teetotaller Scotsman from Bute was much more.

Logan rode penny-farthing bikes and later, more modern bikes and tandems, played football and tennis and lobbied for Albury to start an electricity supply — achieved in 1916.

The book was launched in the Albury Library Museum last night.

Richard Lee with the book that was launched last night. Picture: DAVID THORPE

Richard Lee with the book that was launched last night. Picture: DAVID THORPE

The event coincided with the opening of an exhibition of hand-coloured building plans and documents from the workshops of Logan and fellow builder Alan Stow, a World War I veteran.

Mr Lee, a former manager of Highpoint furniture stores in Albury-Wodonga, said Logan had been a fascinating character to research.

“It’s taken about two years after Jan Hunter introduced me to the subject,” he said.

“Members of the Albury and District Historical Society kept an eye out for Logan information.”

One of Logan’s arguments in council led to a meeting being abandoned and a court case.

Mr Lee lists among Logan’s buildings the WAW branch in Dean Street and St David’s Church and manse in Olive Street among many others.

Some of his finest, such as the Theatre Royal in Kiewa Street, have long gone.

“Logan was a man of many parts — his timber and joinery shop in Swift Street was part of the streetscape for 80 years,” he said.

“He had four children but there are no living descendants.”

Logan died in 1948.

When his business closed about 1980, the family gave tools and house plans to the city heritage collection.

The Stow Collection was also donated to the LibraryMuseum by his family and helps chart the built environment of Albury and district.