John Ormond (farmer)

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Sir John Davies Wilder Ormond BEM (8 September 1905 – 8 March 1995) was a New Zealand businessman and farmer.

Early life and family[edit]

Born at Waipukurau, New Zealand, Ormond was the son of John Davies Ormond Jr and Emilie Mary Gladys Wilder. He was educated at Christ's College, New Zealand. His sports were tennis and rugby. He married Judith Wall on 26 August 1939.[1] They had four sons and one daughter.

Through his mother, he was the fourth great-grandson of Beaufoy Boyle, great-granddaughter of Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery and Lady Margaret Howard. This connection made him a descendant of many notable figures including his thirteenth great-grandparents Elizabeth Tilney and Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. He was the grandson of John Davies Ormond and brother-in-law of the politician Sir Hugh John Dyke Acland. His great uncle was Edward John Eyre, former governor of Jamaica. His cousin is the headmistress, Ormond Felicity Lusk.

Political career[edit]

He started out with a large sheep and cattle run. Later he was elected to the Waipukurau Branch of the New Zealand Farmers' Union (1927–1930).

During the 1930s he "...was a leading proponent of the New Zealand Legion..."[2] a radical, right-wing party, but when this proved ineffective he stood in the 1935 election, in the Waipawa electorate as an Independent Reformer. He split the right vote, taking support from the official United/Reform Coalition candidate, Albert Jull. The Democrats also had a candidate, which further contributed to vote splitting on the right, and the electorate went to the Labour candidate, Max Christie.[3][4]

In the 1938 election, he contested the Napier electorate for the National Party, but was beaten by the incumbent, Labour's Bill Barnard.[5]

In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[6]

Wartime service[edit]

During World War II, he served in Greece, and received the British Empire Medal for diving off a troopship attempting to rescue a drowning man. Wounded in action he was invalided back to New Zealand, where he served as instructor and rose to the rank of army captain.[1]

Postwar career[edit]

After the war, he saw the need for New Zealand to ship products abroad. He was the longtime chairman of the New Zealand Meat Producers Board, beginning in 1951. Later in life he organised the Shipping Corporation of New Zealand. He was its chairman until September 1979.[1]

In his later life he retired to his cattle and sheep run. On 2 July 1964 he was knighted for his services to New Zealand and the Commonwealth.[7] The Sir John Ormond Fellowship is named in his honour.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Bremer, Robert James. "Ormond, John Davies Wilder". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  2. ^ Hall, David. "Producer Control in the New Zealand Meat Industry in the 1940s/1950s". Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Election Results". The Evening Post. CXX (137). 6 December 1935. p. 10. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Three for Waipawa". The Evening Post. CXX (40). 15 August 1935. p. 10. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  5. ^ "The General Election, 1938". National Library. 1939. p. 3. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  7. ^ "No. 43383". The London Gazette. 17 July 1964. p. 1.


  • Peter Stuart (1951). The life of Sir John Ormond.
  • "Honors List 1964". The Times of London.
  • The New Zealand Herald Business section 19 January 2001