Nelson, Marlborough and Westland



Page 44

Mr. JOHN BARROWMAN, who was appointed Engineer for the Nelson Harbour Board in August 1904, was born at Shettlestown, near Glasgow, Scotland, in 1835, and received his education at Shettlestown and Cambusland public schools. His father, who was a mine manager, took him into the works, where he served four years underground, and afterwards attended an engine. At seventeen years of age he was apprenticed as a mechanical engineer to the Camlachie Foundry Company, Glasgow, where he served two years and a-half, and finished his time at Cowlairs Engine Works of the North British railway. When his term expired Mr. Barrowman worked in various engineering shops in Glasgow and Greenock, and then received an appointment as mill manager at the Grangetown Iron Works, near Cardiff, South Wales, where he remained in charge for nearly five years, before taking control of the Mount Stuart Shipbuilding and Engine Works. Two years later he returned to Glasgow, and entered the firm of Clarkson Brothers, and after two years as a journeyman he was placed in charge of the firm's branch shops at Maryhill. However, ill health compelled him to seek a change of climate, and in 1874 he sailed for New Zealand in the ship `Auckland.' On landing at Dunedin, Mr. Barrowman found employment at the Railway Foundry, of Messrs. Fraser, Wishart, Buchanan and Company, where he remained until the firm dissolved, when he was placed in charge, on behalf of Mr. Fraser, with whom he continued until the business was wound up. Shortly after the inception of the Greymouth Harbour Works, Mr. Barrowman became mechanical engineer at the works for the Government, and was afterwards promoted to be inspector. In 1885 he was appointed Inspector of Harbour Works at Westport, and early in 1899 was engaged to superintend the harbour works at Strahan, Macquarie harbour, on the West Coast of Tasmania, where he remained until receiving his present appointment at Nelson in 1904. Before coming to the colony, Mr. Barrowman took a great interest in Home politics, and was the means of forming several political and social clubs in Cardiff, Glasgow, and elsewhere in the Old Country. While in Cardiff he was a prominent member of the Loyal Windsor Lodge of Foresters, No. 2379. He joined the Greenock Artillery in January, 1859, and is consequently one of the oldest British volunteers residing in New Zealand. He was also lieutenant of the Greymouth Rifle Corps for a time, and subsequently organized and commanded the Westport Navals, now known as the Westport Artillery. Mr. Barrowman was married, in 1857, to a daughter of the late Mr. John Tennant, of Westmuir, Scotland, and has had one son and two daughters.

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