World War 2
This article appeared in The Maori Battalion Remembers III, 1988, p.15
John Paul Irwin - Reg No. 637163
John Irwin died March 1 1987 and was laid to rest in the Wairoa Servicemen's Cemetery. He was born in Waimana, July 19, 1922 of Tuhoe and Ngati Kahungunu descent.
He was brought up by the Ratu Lewis family of Nuhaka and attended Wairoa District High School. The guidance and direction of John's life was set by Rev. Lewis for John's life was one of service to the communities in which he lived. Notable among his many involvements was the prominent part he played in the refurbishing of the Waimako Pa.
During WWII he served with the artillery before transferring to 28th N.Z. (Maori) Bn, in Italy where he remained until the end of the war.
On returning home he joined the Dept. of Maori Affairs as a carpenter and graduated to building inspector.
In 1963 he moved to Auckland as a building supervisor and is remembered for the part he took in Auckland Branch and his involvement with the Tuhoe marae Tira Hou.
He returned to Wairoa in 1977 as the County Council Building Inspector and was elected to the Wairoa District Council.
For the last ten years he was President of the Wairoa Branch of 28th Bn and at the time of his death was Vice-President of Wairoa R.S.A.