Death Notice: Graham Macaulay Mills, Past IAZ President

Architect Graham Macaulay Mills - 27th April 1936 to 28th March 2023

Born in Scottburgh, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa whist his Bulawayo based parents were holidaying there, Graham’s family moved to Highlands, Harare in 1942.  He attended Highlands Junior School and St. Georges College where he obtained Matric Exemption to South African Universities.  After working as an apprentice with Harare architects W. D'arcy Cathcart and Son from 1954 to 1955 he entered University of Cape Town to study ArchitectureDuring his ‘year out’ Practical Year in 1960 he travelled to London and worked with Leonard Menasseh and Partners before "hitch hikingacross Europe, staying in Youth Hostels in Norway, Denmark,  Sweden, Germany, Holland, France, Switzerland and Italy before returning to London.  Further travel by train to Venice meant he caught the ‘Europa’ and sailed back to Beira in January 1961 to complete his final year studies at Cape Town University from where he graduated in December 1962.

Returning to Harare he worked as an Architectural Assistant with Montgomery, Oldfield and Denn until April 1964 before another period in London where he worked with with the Austin-Smith Salmon Lord Partnership.  In 1965 he returned to Harare to join Ross Mackenzie, Van Heerden and Hartford before a second term with Montgomerie, Oldfield and Kirby where he worked until 1968.

Further work periods in Harare were with Buster Harris and Denis Reed before he joined the then Department of Physical Planning, Ministry of Home Affairs in 1975.  In 1980 he set up his own practice operating from St. Andrews House in Samora Machel Avenue.

1985 to 1986 he served as President of the Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe.

In 1990 Graham joined Jimmy Hope and Jim Peto to form Hope Mills Peto Associates with offices in Chinhoyi Street and laterally African Synod House.  When that practice closed he joined The Stone/ Beattie Studio until his retirement at the end of 2008.  

Graham was involved with community activities being for many years Chairman of Highlands School PTA, Chairman and Secretary of the Welsh Society, the Society of St George and the Celebs Subscription Classical Music concert society.  He was passionate about music and the arts, a devout Catholic and a loyal member of the congregation at Nazareth House.

His legacy and contribution to the profession are recorded through a working career which spanned 48 years as an architect, the highlights of his endeavours including several iconic structures in Harare and Bulawayo - Cecil House, Nestle House, Larmenier Village, Caldecott Gardens and Africa University in Mutare.

Graham is survived by his son Andrew, and daughters Diana and Penny.

- Text kindly supplied by Architect Richard Beattie