John was a great stalwart of the Aramoho Rowing Club in Wanganui in the years after World War 2. In 1945 at the age of 18 years old, John was sent down to the Aramoho Rowing Club by a family friend. Upon arriving he couldn't find anyone, so was on his way back up to the road he was stopped by a loud voice. Doug Holmes had spotted him leaving and called him back. He was put into a boat and here started his rowing career. He caught 5 crabs on his first outing, but that was the only time - this never occurred again. His progression was rapid, the next season 1946-47 he was put into the Premier Eight and they won the NZ Champs. He was a very strong and tough man, totally suited to rowing. 1947-48 the Aramoho Premier Eight defended their title, and travelled to Australia to compete in the NSW Champs which they won.
1949-50 saw him in a Coxed Four. This four was quite outstanding and it won the NZ Champs and the Boss Rooster that year. The Aramoho Coxed Four was selected to represent New Zealand at the Empire Games which were being held in Auckland. Before his selection in a composite crew to compete at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, he had won several New Zealand Championship titles, the New South Wales State title for eights. He won a gold medal in 'the Aramoho Coxed Four' which represented New Zealand in the 1950 Empire Games regatta at Lake Karapiro - the first international regatta held at that venue.Read more