City iden­tity had long ca­reer with coun­cil

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Iso­bel Ewing

When David Lean first met Jack Ket­tlewell, he was scared of him.

‘‘He had a very gruff ex­te­rior to those who didn’t know him, but a heart big­ger than most people I know.’’

Ket­tlewell died peace­fully on Satur­day, aged 92.

He spent 26 years with the New Ply­mouth District Coun­cil, the first 21 as deputy city en­gi­neer and the last five as city en­gi­neer.

Lean, who worked with Ket­tlewell dur­ing his time as mayor, said he was a fan­tas­tic en­gi­neer with his own lit­tle idio­syn­cra­sies.

‘‘He had a huge abil­ity to pre­pare for New Ply­mouth’s fu­ture.’’

Some ma­jor projects Ket­tlewell was be­hind in­cluded New Ply­mouth’s water­works de­vel­op­ment, the Hu­a­toki Stream flood pro­tec­tion scheme, and the de­sign and re-or­gan­i­sa­tion of the city en­gi­neer’s depart­ment.

‘‘He re­ally achieved heaps,’’ Lean said.

‘‘I ad­mired him and en­joyed his friend­ship.’’

Ket­tlewell be­gan his World War II ser­vice in the army at age 18, serv­ing in Libya, Egypt and Italy.

Some of this time was spent driv­ing tanks, Lean said.

‘‘I used to see him at most rugby matches on his mo­bil­ity scooter.

‘‘He used to drive down Car­ring­ton St to Vogeltown Park on his scooter the same way he used to drive the tanks.’’

Ket­tlewell’s son, Neil, said his fa­ther was a char­ac­ter and a great dad.

‘‘He built us yachts to go sail­ing in and he used to take all the kids camp­ing out Weld Rd.’’

Ket­tlewell was born in Welling­ton and at­tended John­sonville Pri­mary School and Welling­ton Boys’ Col­lege.

Af­ter he re­turned from the war, he worked on the Welling­ton wa­ter sup­ply then stud­ied at Vic- to­ria and Can­ter­bury uni­ver­si­ties, gain­ing a Bach­e­lor of En­gi­neer­ing de­gree from Can­ter­bury in 1951.

In lieu of flow­ers, do­na­tions can be made to the Neu­ro­log­i­cal Foun­da­tion, Taranaki di­vi­sion.

A ser­vice for Ket­tlewell will be held in the chapel of W Abra­ham, 366 Devon St East, on Wed­nes­day.

Photo: ROBERT CHARLES/FAIR­FAX NZ

Full life: For­mer New Ply­mouth District Coun­cil en­gi­neer and World War II vet­eran Jack Ket­tlewell died on Satur­day, aged 92.

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