Sunday, July 10, 2011


Born 7 June, 1920, Palmerston North, New Zealand. 

FATHER.                James Henry Petersen born 3 April, 1893, Mauriceville West, New Zealand. 

             MOTHER.              Olive Prentice, born 12 Feb 1896, Wellington, New Zealand. 

MARRIED               20 October, 1915 in Palmerston North, N.Z.
Gwenda P.and Toby Thomas    Colin and Jean Mc, Peterson


Subject is of Danish and English extraction. 
Paternal:  Great grandparents and grandparents emigrated from Denmark in 1873-75 and were original Settlers in Mauriceville West. 
Maternal: Great grandparents emigrated from England in 1856.  One grandparent emigrated from England in 1874; the other was born in Wellington in 1862.  Settled in Wellington. 
Subjects parents lived in Palmerston North all of their married lives.  Olive Petersen died on 27 August 1948 in Palmerston North.  James Petersen died on 22 April 1958 at sea and was buried at sea (Mediterranean). 
Jean Mc. Peterson
Subject lived in Palmerston North until 1938 when he moved first to Whakahoro and then to Wellington for employment.  Returned to Palmerston North late in 1929 until he was mobilized    for military service in 1941.  Returned to Palmerston North upon demobilization.  Moved to              Wellington in late 1947 and apart from a short period in Hamilton in 1950, remained in          Wellington for the rest of his working life.  Although employed in Wellington, subject resided in          Paekakariki from 1966 until 1981 when he moved to Waikanae. 
MARRIAGES:      First marriage was to Joan Winifred Honnor on 17 February 1945 at Napier. The marriage was dissolved by divorce.  There were no children by the marriage. 
SECOND MARRIAGE:  Marriage was to Jean Margaret McCreddie on 18 June 1954 at        Wellington.  There are two sons by this marriage.  The first is Jens Douglas, born in Bombay,     India on 13, February, 1957 and the second is Nils Conrad, born in Wellington 22 April, 1960.


PRIMARY:  Central School in Palmerston North, 1926/1933. 
SECONDARY:  Palmerston North Boy's High School, 1934/1937.

QUALIFICATIONS:  University Entrance.  
 Accountancy professional, 1947. 
 N.Z. Administrative Staff College, 1969.
Admitted to the New Zealand Society of Accountants on 2 April, 1948 as an Associate Chartered    Accountant, (A.C.A.).

Subject was a career civil servant and all of his working life was spent in the          employment of the New Zealand Government.  On leaving secondary school he secured a         position as sole teacher at the Whakahoro Primary School, (located 30 miles west of Raurimu).          This was only for a short period until he was appointed as a clerical cadet in the New Zealand    Public Service.  His first position in the Service was  with what was then called the Transport                Department, Wellington as an assistant to the Chief Traffic Officer.  Late in 1939 he was         transferred to the Hydro-electric Branch of the Public Works Department at Palmerston North           and was employed there as an accounts clerk and a pay clerk.
Jens & Ann P,  Colin & Jean Peterson. , Debora & Nils P.
Late in 1947, having gained professional accounting qualifications, he was appointed an    Investigating officer with the Price Control Division of the Department of Industries and Commerce, Wellington and remained in that position until May 1950 when the was appointed Investigating Accountant with the Rehabilitation Department in Hamilton.  On return from military Service in Korea, he was reappointed to the Department of Industries and Commerce in Wellington and later in 1955, he took up an appointment of Assistant New Zealand Trade Commissioner in India, being station in Bombay.  He returned to New Zealand late in 1958 and remained with the Department of Industries and Commerce, Wellington until June 1960 when he was appointed to the staff of the Public Service Commission (later re-named the State Services Commission).  During the first few years with the Commission he was engaged in projects and investigations involving work study and organization and methods in many departments of Government.  Then followed a period of close involvement in a number of projects with overseas management consultants under contract to Government.  He was appointed Director of Management Services with the State Services Commission late in 1967.
Subject attended his first course of instruction in electronic data processing in 1960 and further training and courses followed throughout the 1960's and 70's.  He became increasingly involved in the planning and development of electronic data processing in the Public Service until, by mid 1972, as Assistant Commissioner of the State Services Commission, this became his prime responsibility.  He had a major role in organizing the transfer government electronic data       processing which was at that time performed by The Treasury, to a new division of the State Services Commission called the Computer Services Division.  He promoted the concept of a    single integrated e.d.p. system for law enforcement purposes and to this end was made responsible for the overall coordination of the various departments concerned.  The task involved the planning of the project to meet the requirements of the departments, the issue of           specifications, supervision of contracts and coordination of consultants; the staffing of the organization and its training and the eventual operation of the system.  Despite three changes of government, considerable political and public controversy and pressure from groups concerned with such matters as human rights and privacy, this project, which took about seven years from concept to completion, finally became fully operational on 15 April 1978.  At that time, the new           system which had been named "the Wanganui Computer Centre" was regarded internationally as    one of the most advanced computer law enforcement systems in the world.  Although it was a             "stand alone" system, the Center was operated as a part of the Computer Services Division.
Jean, Nils, Ann, Jens
1st  Debora, Benjamin, Brooke, Colin,

When Colin Petersen retired in June 1978 as General Manager of the Computer Services Division, the Division consisted of four large computer centres and four data preparation centres with a total staff of approximately 500 people.

Subject volunteered for the Army Territorial Service in June 1940 and served in theinfantry as a private and later as a corporal in the Wellington West Coast Regiment until mobilized in December 1941.  He was then transferred as a gunner in the 10 Heavy Regiment,  New Zealand Artillery.  He was commissioned in November, 1942 as a 2nd Lieutenant in field artillery and served with 12 Field Regiment,  N.Z.A. and 2 field Regiment, N.Z.A.  He was transferred back to coast artillery late in 1943 and served with 10 Heavy Regiment at Palmer Head  and Fort Ballance before being demobilized late in 1944 and posted to the Reserve Officers as a lieutenant.
 Volunteered for territorial service again in 1948 and served with 10 Coast Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, in Wellington and later in 1950 with the 4 Medium Battery in Hamilton.
At the out break of the Korean War he enlisted for service in the special New Zealand force (K Force).  He was in the main body which arrived in Korea on 31 December 1950 and served with 16 Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery with the rank of Captain.  He was second in command of the 163 Battery.  In July 1952, he was repatriated and demobilized in the following November.

He volunteered again for service in the territorial force and served with 10 Coast   Regiment, R.N.Z.A.  His last active posting was as captain and second in command of 104 Battery at Palmer Head, Wellington.
He was posted to the General Reserve of Officers in January 1956, and to the Retired List of Officers on 1 January 1958, with the rank of substantive captain.  In 1956 he was awarded the Efficiency Decoration for long service.

As a boy he took a keen interest in aircraft and built numerous models.  His first flight was about 1930 (with father) in a "Spartan" biplane from Milson airfield, Palmerston North.  (The pilot was a "celebrity", Sq Ldr. M. C. McGregor (Mad Mac).  Colin was also fortunate to     have a flight from milson airfield (again with father) to the Fokker Tri-motor "Southern Cross",    the pilot being Charles Kingsford-Smith.  Then followed a series of local flights in Gipsy Mother          biplanes until about 1936, financed from hard-earned pocket money.  After the War in 1946-47, he frequently flew as passenger with ex-air force pilots who had continue to fly privately and who   were happy to take private passengers on a share cost arrangement.

just before setting it on fire
a Viking ritual 
Subject had a short period of flying as an artillery observer in Korea and on his    return to New Zealand, commenced private flying training with the Wellington Aero Club.  He flew         his first   solo on 5 November 1952, after 6 hours 15 minutes dual instruction. He gained his Private Pilot's License on 24 March 1953.  Active flying ceased in 1956 but he continued to take a keen interest in flying.  His last "hands on" flight (with instructor) was in a DH 82 (Tiger Moth when he was 70 years of age.
From about 1960, Colin began talking an interest in genealogy and spent much time tracing the roots of his family.  Some branches of his family have been trace back to the early          1700's.  His Danish great grandparents and grandparents arrived in Wellington in the ship "Halcione" in 1873 and in Napier in 1875 in the "Friedeburg".   His English great grandparents and grandparent arrived in Wellington in the "Alma" in 1857 and in Dunedin in the "William Davey" in 1874.  Subjects other grandparent was born in Wellington in 1862.
Mountain climbing and skiing.

Between 1946 and 1950 he was actively engaged in climbing in the Tongariro National Park and the Mount Egmont areas.  It was during this period that his interest also turned to skiing.  he was a member of the Aorangi Ski Club, Wellington and was active in the sport until he went                 to India in 1955.  He participate in the building of the Aorangi Ski Club hut on Mt. Ruapehu during  1949/50.
Colin play golf for about ten years between 1947 ad 1958 but did not take up the game again on return to New Zealand from England.
He was persuaded to take up bowls in 1978 and was a member of the Paekakariki Bowling Club.  Continued with the game until leaving Paekakariki in 1981.
In 1982 he became interested in medium, high ad very high frequency radio listening and in the general hobby of DXing.  Over the following few years he progressed from elementary shortwave radio to advanced communications equipment.  By 1986 he had made a great many contacts throughout the world.   This activity peaked about 1988.  The communications equipment has been retained and is still operated but a  lower level of activity.
In 1955 when living in India, he joined the Royal Bombay Yacht Club and was taught to      sail using the facilities ad tuition service offered by the Club.  He gained his "ticket" and was active in harbor and coastal cruising until he left India in 1958.
From his later teens and throughout the rest of his life, he took a particular interest in the science of artillery.  His training and experience covered both coast artillery and field artillery.  During his service in the army, extending over a period of some 12 years, he received extensive training in the theoretical and technical aspects of gunnery and had practical training on no less than 14 different artillery pieces ranging from the mere 12 pounder antitank gun up to the 9.2 inch coastal guns at Wright's Hill, Wellington.
He was admitted into the Masonic Lodge in 1949 and raised to a master mason in March,   1950 in Lodge Taia, No. 119, Kilbirie, Wellington.  In September 1995, when he went to India, he was admitted to Lodge Saint George, No. 549 Bombay, and remained with that lodge until he departed from India in August 1958.  He did not rejoin a lodge on this return to New Zealand.
Subjects parents resided at the following addresses and his lived at these addresses during his boyhood and as a young single man whenever he was working in Palmerston North.
- 8 Lyndhurst Street, Palmerston North    1920-25
- 30 Argyle Avenue, Palmerston North      1926-28
- 29 Argyle Avenue, Palmerston North      1928-46
- 8 Lombard Street, Palmerston North      1946-58
When they were married in 1954, he and his wife had a house constructed at 18 Sunglow Avenue, Melrose, Wellington and resided there before and after their three year secondment to India.  he and his family moved to Paekakariki in June 1966 and had a house constructed at 4 Ocean Road, Paekakariki.  In August 1981, he and his wife moved to Waikanae where they lived at 5a Wakefield Grove.  In August 1986, they purchased a new house a 23 Hurunui Street, Waikanae and moved to that address.


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