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HAVELOCK, Wilfrid Bowen (1912-2003)

HAVELOCK, Sir Wilfrid Bowen (1912-2003)

Sir Wilfred Havelock, farmer and member of parliament in Kenya was one of the last white leaders of Kenya at the time of independence in 1963. Although originally conservative in outlook he had become a member of the multi-racial New Kenya Group after realising that change was unavoidable and that Britain’s interest in its African colonies was in decline. In 1962, Havelock became Minister of Local Government and Lands in the new nation and supervised claims for land and the establishment of an agricultural finance corporation. He was not offered a role in Kenyatta’s central government and although he continued for several years as a member of the Coastal Regional Assembly much of his focus shifted to commercial activities involving hotel development and package tours from Europe.

Wilfrid Bowen Havelock was born at Port of Spain, Trinidad and after his mother’s remarriage had moved with the family to Africa in about 1920. He first attended school at Kenya Grange School, Lumbwa but in 1922 briefly entered Geelong College for two months from February to April, 1922. The College Register recorded his address as Uganda and his previous school as Gatehouse School, Kingston on Thames, England. He is believed to have subsequently attended the Imperial Service College, Windsor.

He returned to Kenya in 1929 to work in a variety of colourful and adventurous activities before eventually commencing with the administration under the notorious Earl of Erroll (1901-1941).

During World War II he was employed with the Kenya Defence Force Tribunal and the Director of Manpower before joining the Kenya Regiment to fight with the 3rd/4th King’s African Rifles. After the war he commenced farming before successfully standing in 1948 for election to the Legislative Council in Kiambu. Wilfrid Havelock was knighted in 1963.

Sources: Obituary- London Telegraph.
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