On Friday 18th October, John Mowbray was inducted into the Kapiti Business Hall of Fame by Mayor Gurunathan, at a dinner attended by 400 people. John is the 12th person so honoured since the awards began in 2009. The Hall of Fame “recognises living individual business people resident in the Kapiti district whose exceptional efforts in business and the community have had a positive impact on economic growth and business success.” The Mayor’s induction address included the following…
”Since 1965 John Mowbray has operated Mowbray Collectables in Otaki, rapidly reaching international status and bringing recognition to New Zealand for its performance and acumen by trading $100 million in stamps since 1974, including $40 million in exports. The company has had a stand at every major stamp exhibition in the English-speaking world since 1980 and the company name is well known to collectors around the world.
John is a founding member of the NZ Stamp Dealers Association and was twice elected President from 1985-87 and from 1990-92. He has been a Director of Sotheby’s Australia, Stanley Gibbons of London, and Webb’s Fine Arts, and a Board member of the NZ Auctioneers Association.
His knowledge and professionalism were acknowledged in 2018 when he became the first NZ dealer to be admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society in London for services to philately. John was elected a Regional Vice-President of the Royal Philatelic Society of NZ in the same year. In 1990 he became the first person from outside of Europe to hold the post of World President of the International Federation of Stamp Dealers. In 1981 John was named the Wellington regional winner in the Air New Zealand Enterprise Awards.
John has been a major supporter for NZ and overseas philatelic exhibitions, a regular sponsor of significant prizes for NZ exhibitions. Behind the scenes he has played a significant role in securing significant philatelic items from overseas for the National Museum of New Zealand.
His passion for rugby led him, as a member of the Waikanae Rugby Club, to becoming Schoolboy Convenor, serving as a member of the management committee for the last 34 years. He was elected Patron in 1998, and is a Life Member of the Club. He went on to higher office with the NZ Rugby Football Union where he has been chairman of the Horowhenua Kapiti Rugby Union for the last 15 years - the longest serving chairman for that Union and the seventh longest in the history of the NZRFU. As part of his role as HKRU chairman, he served as a Director of the Hurricanes from 2007-2011 and has served on various committees and panels of the NZRFU.
Probably best known by the locals in his home district for his voluntary commitment to the development of rugby in Kapiti-Horowhenua, the use of his business skills in supporting secondary education, and his support for the arts, he regularly provides his voluntary services as an auctioneer to organisations seeking to raise funds and makes unpublicised donations.
John is well-regarded for maintaining his base of operations, and 15 local staff, in the small provincial town of Otaki instead of being attracted to the bright lights of a main centre or overseas, but what makes him truly stand out is his unassuming professionalism and courtesy in all he has tackled, and the respect his community has for him.”