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Remembering John Bollard: The Kiwi Who Inspired Pacific Connections

John Bollard (1927 - 2014), helped create the Arboretum's first eco-geographic exhibit.

John Bollard (1927 – 2014), helped create the Arboretum’s first eco-geographic exhibit.

The Foundation would like to acknowledge the passing of John Bollard. He died in Seattle on June 28, aged 86.

A native of New Zealand, John moved with his wife Eve to Seattle in 1961 and was a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the UW for 35 years. He was deeply engaged in the Kiwi community of Seattle. A founding member of the Seattle Christchurch Sister City Association and New Zealand’s first Honorary Consul to the Northwest, John was instrumental in the creation of the New Zealand High Country Exhibit in the Arboretum in 1993. This small planting—the first eco-geographic exhibit in the Arboretum—served as inspiration for the much larger Pacific Connections Garden (with its two-acre New Zealand Forest) now under construction here.

John was also influential in promoting the culture and natural history of New Zealand at the Burke Museum and the Woodland Park Zoo. He and Eve were responsible for bringing keas to the zoo. They also brought Maori carver Fred Graham to Seattle to carve the entry gate for the Pacific Voices exhibit at the Burke.  In addition, they played a key role in bringing two Maori exhibits and performers to the Burke Museum— Toi Maori and Te Waka To.

John is survived by four children, 7 grandchildren, and a great grandchild. Read his full obituary in the Seattle Times.