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Name: RIFKIN, John

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Nee: bro of Samuel and David Rifkin

Birth Date: 1873 Russia

Death Date: 19.2.1950 Mombasa

First Date: 1904 December

Profession: Blacksmith, farrier and wagon builder, he had the only business of this kind in Nairobi in those early days. Mrs Rifkin established a bakery in Nairobi

Area: Box 316, Nairobi, Eldoret

Married: Fesha 'Bessie' née Yutan b. 1879, d. 11 July 1945 Nairobi

Children: Philip Harry (1902); Becky; Sophie (Nairobi 2.12.1909); Solomon Nathan (14 Feb 1913 Nairobi-1974 Edgware)

Book Reference: Gillett, SE, Eldoret, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Macmillan, Pioneers, Drumkey, Red 22, Gazette, Nicholls, Medals, North, Barnes, SKP, Glimpses, Leader14, Red Book 1912

War Service: EA Veterinary Corps

General Information:

SE - John Rifkin - Blacksmith - July 1907
Eldoret - Rifkin, the blacksmith, set up shop to service machinery and implements and to make furniture and joinery for town and farm dwellings.
KAD 1922 - Blacksmith, Farrier & Carpenter with Sam Rifkin
Macmillan - 1930 - John Rifkin, Blacksmith, Farrier, Iron Merchant and Wagon-Builder, Sixth Ave. (behind New Stanley Hotel) - continues with old skills - builds all kinds of wagons as they used to be built - strong and specially adapted for the rough wear of primitive roads and conditions; and while the busy motor traffic of Nairobi goes noisily past his establishment, it is interesting to watch the work of the farriers there fitting new shoes on patient horses …… Almost next door Mr Rifkin's son, Philip, is engaged as a merchant in hides and skins, and has done very well since he started that business in 1926.
Drumkey 1909 - Blacksmith and Farrier - Govt. Rd., Nairobi
Red 22 - John & Sam Rifkin & Co., Box 316, Nairobi - Blacksmiths
Gazette - 7/4/15 - Liable for Jury service, Nairobi District - J. Rifkin, Hardinge Street
Medals - East Africa Veterinary Corps - No. 5024, Transport Serjeant
Barnes - Nairobi South Cemetery - John Rifkin died 19 Feb 1950 aged 77 - deeply mourned by his loving children - and - Bessie Rifkin died 11 July 1945 aged 65 - deeply mourned by her loving husband and children
SKP - 1938 - Society of Kenya Pioneers - over 30 years in Colony - arrived Dec 1904 - Nairobi
Glimpses - Arrived 1904 - the strikingly large, handsome John Rifkin and his Mrs of substantial proportions.
Glimpses - Of the "old guard" Jews there are a few personalities that stand out. There is John Rifkin who, at the age of 77, is now looked upon as the Grand Old Man of Nairobi Jewry. He came to Nairobi in 1905 and worked as a blacksmith to the day of his retirement. He is a good example of the old generation type of solid pillar of the Congregation, modest, never looking for "Koved", who has spent a lifetime in honest toil, always ready to help, always loyal to the traditions of Judaism
Red Book 1912 - J. Rifkin - Nairobi
Red Book 1912 - Baker - Mrs J. Rifkin, Nairobi
Szlapak - Present at first meeting of Nairobi Hebrew Congregation on 17 Sept 1907 - J. Rifkin
Szlapak - Elected to Committee of Nairobi Hebrew Congregation at first meeting 17 Sept 1907
Macmillan 1930 - A. Rifkin - Wagon Builder and Blacksmith - Eldoret - Mr A Rifkin has built up a business that is one of the most useful at Eldoret and the only one of its kind there. There is nothing pertaining to wagon building which he does not undertake; and he does a good deal of work in the construction of motor bodies of all kinds. Mr Rifkin has had long and varied experience of his trade and an example of his mechanical ingenuity is afforded by the unbreakable harrow which he has recently patented. ………. About 15 skilled men are employed there. Mr Rifkin has been in East Africa since 1913 and is well known throughout the Colony. He was for some years at Nairobi and during the Great War served in the East African Veterinary Corps.
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