John Bruce Brown (1925-27), Gold Medallist and Student President during his diploma course at Lincoln. He was Valuer-General for 12 years until his retirement in 1971. His career was described in the Magazine of 1966 (the year in which he was Bledisloe Medalist) and also commented upon in the Magazine of 1971.
He was succeeded as V-G by V. P. McGlone who had joined the Department of Lands and Survey in 1937; took the V.F.M. in 1939 being in the intake of the second year of that great course. After a period in the home forces in Wo.rld War II he continued in the service of the L/S Department working in the field in various districts until appointment as Commissioner Crown. Lands, Wellington 1963, then Fields Director 1970. He took over as V-G when Bruce Brown retired and served in that senior post until his own retirement in March of this year.Source1974 Lincoln College Magazine p48KeywordsBledisloe Medal
J. BRUCE BROWN (25-27), Valuer-General, Wellington. John Bruce Brown, the son of an old student of the College and a mid-Canterbury farmer, was educated at Timaru Boys’ High School and returned to the farm for more practical experience before attending Lincoln College from 1925 to 1927. On the completion of the three year course he gained his Diploma in Agriculture and was Gold Medallist of his year. In his ﬁnal year he was President of the Students’ Association and Captain of the rugby team. Over the years his direct interest in College activities has continued and since 1953 he has represented Lincoln on the N.Z. Universities Football Council. In 1959-60 he was President of the Old Students’ Association. For several years he has annually made a substantial donation‘ to the funds of the College Library.
After a further period on the home farm he joined the Department of Lands and Survey as a field ofﬁcer in Christchurch in 1933. He was transferred to a similar position in Timaru in 1934. In 1936 came appointment as a Farm Appraiser in the State Advances Corporation at Ashburton and following two years in this position and two years in Timaru he was transferred to Tauranga at the end of 1939. World War II interrupted his service when he held a Commission in the New Zealand Temporary Staff, but with the pressure for ex-servicemen settlement coming on, he returned to the Corporation and in 1943 was appointed District Appraiser for the Bay of Plenty/Rotorua area. The awakening of interest in the development of the Pumice area and the purchase of a considerable number of single unit farms in the coastal belt for the immediate settlement of ex-servicemen was useful experience for his next appointment in 1948 as Chief Field Inspector in the Department of Lands and Survey at Head Ofﬁce. In 1949 came his appointment of Assistant Fields Director—responsible for land development throughout the Dominion—and in 1957 he was appointed Fields Director and Director of Marginal Lands. After ten months in this position he was appointed Assistant Director-General of Lands. From this post he was appointed Valuer-General in 1959 and still holds this position.
As Valuer-General he is Chairman of the Valuers’ Registration Board and is a member of the Land Settlement Board, the National Provident Fund Board, the Board of Maori Affairs and the Investment Boards of the Public Trust Ofﬁce and Government Life.
In 1958 he was a member of the Consultative Committee set up by Government to enquire into and report on Agricultural Education in New Zealand and opportunities for young people to take up farming.
In 1961 he was a member of the Committee of the New Zealand Society of Accountants which produced “The 1961 Research Report on Farm Accounting".
The science and practice of Agriculture has always been one of Mr Brown’s interests and he is a past President of the NZ. Institute of Agricultural Science and in 1965 was Chairman of the Land Valuation Working Party of the Agricultural Development Conference.
In 1965 he represented New Zealand at a University Seminar at Claremont College, Los Angeles, where rating and tax procedures were discussed. Here he gave a technical paper and presented the New Zealand scene. In April of this year he represented the Valuers’ Institute at the Pan Paciﬁc Valuers’ Conference in Tokyo and also gave evidence to the N.S.W. Royal Commission on Valuation and Rating procedure.
Since World War II he has taken an active part in the affairs of ex-servicemen. He has been associated with the N.Z. Homeservicemen’s Association since it was formed and was Dominion President in 1950/51, later being awarded its Gold Rosette and Certiﬁcate of Merit. He has been Liaison Officer for this Association on N.Z.R.S.A. for many years and a member of the Patriotic Fund Board since 1953.
He is a Fellow of the N.Z. Institute of Valuers and is at present Chairman of its Education Committee and Board of Examiners. He has represented the Institute at Pan Paciﬁc Appraisal Conferences in Sydney and San Francisco and was Chairman of the Conference Committee when a similar Conference was held in Wellington in 1963. Following the San Francisco Conference he went on to an International Appraisal Conference at Chicago and later took up a Leader Grant awarded to him by the U.S. Government to study the American way of life. This took him to Washington, Charleston, Miami and Puerto Rico. He followed this with visits to the United Kingdom and Continental Countries where he studied farming trends and the development and redevelopment of city areas.
Mr Brown has a remarkable understanding of the national picture of land development and utilisation; as the head of a State Department and public servant he has served New Zealand with dedication. As a citizen his activity has been characterised by a desire to aid individuals or causes in need of support. In all things Bruce Brown has revealed an integrity and humility which is admired by all his associates and he has done honour to his personal upbringing including the part played by the inﬂuences of this College.