John Bowden Obituary, Death – We recently learned of the passing of John Bowden, a great life member and a former president of our organization. This news filled us with great sadness. The following is what John Pullar, a fellow life member and teammate of John’s, had to say about John, his life here in Whakatane, and his contribution to our Whakatane Town AFC: In the late 1960s, John and Anna immigrated to New Zealand. John was a skilled auto mechanic who was employed by Armstrong Motors, which was a Ford dealership. After that, he found work as a fitter for a company in Tasman, and eventually, he and his partners established Volvo Engineering.

After that, he found employment at either Tasman or Caxton. At the time, there were a number of people who moved to New Zealand who had previously played at the semiprofessional level in the UK. They signed with Whakatane Town and immediately made a significant contribution to the team. John’s personality could be split in two ways at any given moment. Outside of the game, he was the epitome of a true gentleman. On the playing field, nothing short of a tiger.

John was very accomplished in both the playing and coaching aspects of the game over the course of his long career in the sport. Personally, I picked up a lot of useful information from him. Someone who is a very skilled reader of the game. When Ned Kelly was ready to retire from his position as Trustee, he invited John, Billy Finlayson, and myself to take on the role of Trustees for the Trust. We served in this capacity for a number of years. John B being in charge.

John was also very active in the Lodge in Whakatane, where he eventually rose to a position of great authority. When I was first beginning my career in business, John and Anna were very helpful to me by providing us with work. A really good person in all aspects, and in the club’s early days, he and Anna were both very involved in making decisions about how things should be run. Both John and Anna played important roles in the construction of the clubrooms, with John serving as President and Anna as Secretary.

At 1.30 p.m. today, Friday the 18th of November, a funeral service for John will take place at the church of St. George and St. John located at 30 Domain Road. Willetts Funeral Services Ltd. was in charge of the arrangements. During this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Have some peace, John. Many thanks for everything you’ve done for the football team in Whakane Town.