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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.


BOWEN, Walter Godfrey, M.B.E.

(1922– ).

World-champion shearer.

A new biography of Bowen, Walter Godfrey appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.

p>Walter Godfrey Bowen was born in Hastings on 13 February 1922 and educated at Havelock North and Te Puke, where he attended the primary and high schools. He later studied accountancy. After an active life in farming, the timber business, and shearing, he specialised in the last and evolved a new method which he has demonstrated widely. In 1953 he established a world record by shearing 456 sheep, full wool, in nine hours. He was appointed chief shearing instructor for the New Zealand Wool Board, and is at present its field director. In 1956 he led a shearing gang of nine instructors who created a world record by shearing 3,157 sheep in nine hours. During several trips overseas Bowen has demonstrated his shearing technique in Australia, the British Isles, United States, France, Canada, and the U.S.S.R. In 1960 he shore 559 Welsh mountain sheep in nine hours. A year later at Puketitiri, New Zealand, he shore 463 full-wool Perendales in the same time. Since 1956 Bowen has demonstrated before the Queen on five occasions, and in 1960 was awarded the M.B.E. for his services to the sheep industry. He was also honoured by the U.S.S.R. in 1963. His book Wool Away (1956) describes his shearing technique.


McLintock, Alexander Hare