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John Pearce Luke

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John Pearce Luke (c1882-1935)

1935 Obituary [1]

JOHN PEARCE LUKE lived in Wellington, New Zealand, for the greater part of his career, and for the last eight years of his life he held the position of managing director of Messrs. Luke Brothers, Wellington.

He was the eldest son of Sir John Luke, who was mayor of that city. Mr. Luke received his technical education at Wellington College and at Wolverhampton Technical School.

In 1896 he commenced a five years' apprenticeship in the general engineering works of Messrs. S. Luke and Company, Ltd., Wellington, after which he went to sea for a brief period as assistant engineer on S.S. Paparui.

He then came to England and studied electrical engineering for two years with the Electric Construction Company, Wolverhampton.

He returned to Wellington as works manager to Messrs. Luke in 1904 and two years later became manager. In 1913 he joined Messrs. J. J. Niven, of Napier, as works manager, and was appointed district manager at Wellington in the following year.

The loss of an arm through an electrical burn in his early career debarred him from active service during the War; but he came to England in 1916 and joined the engineering staff of the Ministry of Munitions. During 1917 he was manager of the National Shell Factory at Rochdale and in the following year he became assistant manager of the projector works of Messrs. Crompton and Company, Ltd., Chelmsford. Shortly before the War ended, he was transferred to the Ministry of Shipping and stationed at Lisbon in connexion with the reorganization of sea transport.

In 1919 he went into business on his own account as a consulting engineer at Stockton on Tees, and after a brief period on the staff of the English Electric Company, he returned to New Zealand in 1921 as assistant manager to Messrs. Turnbull and Jones, of Auckland. Two years later he was appointed manager of Messrs. Jory, McWhannell, Ltd., of Wellington and in 1925 he became director of Messrs. McWhannell, Luke and Kearney, Ltd. His appointment as managing director of Messrs. Luke Brothers took place in 1927.

Mr. Luke also took a prominent part in municipal and public affairs, and was a member of the board of governors of Wellington Technical College. In 1919 he was elected an Associate Member of the Institution and as recently as May 1935 he was appointed Honorary Corresponding Member for New Zealand and a Member of the New Zealand Advisory Committee.

His death occurred at Southend on Sea, England, on 2nd October 1935, in his fifty-fourth year.

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