1942: Obituary of LW (Pat) Bourke

Auckland Star, 21 March 1942, p 10

ATHLETE’S DEATH
PIONEER OF WIRELESS
FORTY-THREE YEARS IN P. & T.

A prominent Canterbury athlete in his younger days and well known in bowling circles since his retirement in 1921, Mr L.W. (“Pat”) Bourke died recently in Auckland.

Mr Bourke was formerly a prominent member of the Merivale Rugby Football Club and the Union Rowing Club (Christchurch) and on settling in Auckland was a member and executive officer of the Auckland Bowling Club. He played as No. 2 in the New Zealand championship fours at Wellington in 1929 for R.T. Harrison (Australia) on the latter’s first Dominion visit, the rink qualifying in its section. Mr. Bourke also went a long way in the Auckland centre’s singles in 1933, to be beaten eventually by A. Parsons.

A pioneer of wireless telegraphy, he was placed in charge of the first radio station in Wellington in 1911 and trained many wireless operators. Mr Bourke was superintendent of the Awanui radio station during the last war, in which he rendered valuable service by maintaining communication with British and Allied warships off the New Zealand coast.

He retired in 1921 as superintendent of telegraphs, Wellington, after 43 vears service.

Born at Tralee, County Kerry (Ireland), in 1862, he was until his death the last surviving son of Mr Martin Bourke of West Melton (Canterbury).

Mr Bourke’s family came to New Zealand in 1874 and he joined the Telegraph Department in 1878.