Long-time New Plymouth bookseller David Avery has died in his 91st year.
Mr Avery started work in the family bookshop when he came back from World War II.
"Thomas Avery & Sons was a business we had for 103 years in New Plymouth, Avery's Bookshop," son Kevin Avery said.
The shop was on Devon St next to where the Mayfair is now.
Kevin Avery worked in the shop with his father for seven years before they sold it in 1985, he said.
"The book trade was completely different then. There was only one other bookshop in New Plymouth. It was a very good business. We sold a business that was doing very well."
When his father first left New Plymouth Boys' High School at age 15, he went to work on a farm.
"When he was 18 he went to night school to get his matric so he could get his education up to a level where he could be a pilot."
Mr Avery trained in Canada and then went to London as part of Squadron 646.
"He was a Ventura and Mosquito bomber pilot and flew over occupied Europe. They had a 50 per cent death rate so he was very lucky to be alive."
Mr Avery was one of the few Kiwi pilots in the squadron, which was mainly made up of Australians, and he made regular trips across the ditch to attend reunions.
Following the war, Mr Avery worked in the bookshop and trained pilots at the Taranaki Aero Club in the weekends. He was a long-time member of Rotary.
"He was very family-oriented and had 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren," his son said. "He would help people right across the spectrum. He had a good innings."
David Valentine Avery died on August 9.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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