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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2011) 55(4): 32
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Dr John Maddern Harris - Top Scientist Completes His Final Bombing Run

John Kininmonth

Dr Harris, a distinguished scientist of the old FRI (now Scion), passed away on November 18th at the age of 89. He was active in the Institute and was Chairman of the Rotorua Section in the mid 1950s. He was also involved in local government as a City Councillor and District Councillor, including some time as Deputy Mayor of the Rotorua District up to 1985. John served throughout World War II in the Bomber Command of the RAF. During his service he became increasingly keen to emigrate to New Zealand and was recruited to unspecified employment in the Forest Service before bringing his family here in 1947. His first taste of our forestry was as a labourer on National Forest Survey in the Coromandel. Some months later he was included in the intake of the Junior Trainee Course of 1948. The group was a mix of school leavers and ex servicemen - he was a bit old to be called Junior at 26! John stood out with his moustache and wearing remnants of his uniform - it wasn’t long before he got the obvious nickname, “Bomber” Harris.
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