Architect left indelible mark on New Plymouth

Last updated 05:00 21/07/2014

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The architect of several significant New Plymouth buildings, John Bowering, has died while on holiday in Australia.

He was 90.

Bowering, who had lived in Paraparaumu for the past seven years, practised as an architect in New Plymouth from 1954 until 1973.

His work on the Whiteley Memorial Methodist Church, which was completed in 1962, earned him an Enduring Architecture Award from the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 2007. His forte was commercial buildings and in 1954 he designed and supervised construction of the city library, museum and war memorial hall, which has since been remodelled as part of the Puke Ariki complex.

He was architect also for the YMCA Stadium off Liardet St, Taranaki Newspapers and the airport terminal building.

Bowering designed three other churches - St Philomena's Catholic Church in Brooklands Rd, which was gutted by an arson attack this year, St Stephen's Methodist Church in Stratford and Brooklands Community Church.

His other projects included Rangiatea Maori Girls' College, McEwens Machinery, Lawson Hunter (now Mollers) Motors, Senior Citizens HQ, Stratford Westpac and Eltham Blue Vein Cheese factory as well as several private residences.

Bowering was born in England in 1924 and joined the RAF when he was 19. After World War II he studied at the London School of Architecture and in 1948 he married and moved to New Zealand with wife, Peggy.

He practised in Wellington and Palmerston North then moved to New Plymouth where his three children, Douglas, Diana and Claire were born.

In 1973 he moved to Whangarei to be near his favourite holiday spot in the Bay of Islands and retired to Opua in 1988. His final move was to Paraparaumu, seven years ago. Bowering had been a member of Rotary clubs since joining the New Plymouth Rotary Club in 1964 and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship in 2007 in Whangarei.

He was also a member of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and chairman for four years of both the Taranaki and Northland regions.

A service for Bowering will be held in Whangarei on July 30 at 1.30pm at Morris & Morris, 199 Kamo Rd.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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