James Crighton Ferguson died on 23rd August, 1965, as the result of a heart attack. He was 62 years of age.

Mr. Ferguson was a student at University College, London, from 1921 to 1924 and was awarded the first-class honours degree of B.Sc. in geology After graduating he was engaged in geological mapping in the Horsham District, with the help of a D.S.I.R. grant, until March, 1926. For the next eighteen months he was concerned with geophysical prospecting in what were then Northern and Southern Rhodesia and in 1928 joined the Imperial Geophysical Experimental Survey, undertaking geophysical prospecting and geological mapping in Australia.

In 1930 Mr. Ferguson returned to what is now Rhodesia to take up a position on the staff of the Southern Rhodesia Geological Survey. He was engaged in geological mapping and prospecting in various areas until 1940, when he was seconded to the Government Mining Engineer’s Office. For the next five years he was concerned with surveying tasks in East Africa and elsewhere, re-joining the Survey in 1945 and being appointed senior geologist in the following year. In 1948 he was promoted to the post of acting director and, later that year, became director – a post he held until 1960.

After his retirement from the Geological Survey Mr. Ferguson undertook some work as a consulting geologist.

Mr. Ferguson was elected to Associate Membership of the Institution in 1937 and was transferred to full Membership in 1950. He served as Overseas Member of Council for Southern Rhodesia from 1955 to 1959 and was concerned for many years with the Rhodesia Local Section of the Institution. He had been a member of the Geological Society of South Africa since 1949 and was a foundation member of the Southern Rhodesia Branch of the Society, of which he was Chairman for a number of years. In 1964 he was awarded the Draper Memorial Medal by the Geological Society of South Africa – its highest award.

Mr. Ferguson was the author of many technical papers, among which is that entitled ‘Significant changes in the known position of the mineral resources of Southern Rhodesia during the past twenty years’, which was presented at the Fourth Empire Mining and Metallurgical Congress in London.

Vol. 74, Trans IMM 1964-65, p.982

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