Bill McCardle

b. 1929d. 2004

Also known as:

  • William Wilson McCardle III

Bill McCardle was born at Pahiatua, the eldest of four. He was descended from William Wilson McCardle I (1844-1922), a nurseryman who established Queen Elizabeth II Park in Masterton and the Pahiatua township before moving to Kawhia where he became a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council.W. W. McCardle I had a large family of which the eldest is William Wilson McCardle II (1878-1912) who was Mayor of Pahiatua. W.W. McCardle II had eight children of whom the second born was Claude (1894-1962), father of William Wilson McCardle III (Bill).

Bill attended Pahiatua District High School, then Palmerston North Boys High School before leaving High School to work as a draughtsman for the public service. In 1949 he enrolled at the University of Auckland, completing courses in Theory of Architectural Design and Architectural Civics at the School of Architecture, however he left his studies at the age of 23 so that he and his brother Graham could work to help the family financial situation.

From 1955-1956 he studied the one-year Adult Education programme at Wellington Teacher’s Training College (Karori) and spent a short period in the classroom as a teacher but decided it wasn’t for him.

In the early 1960s he moved to Ponsonby, Auckland, where he worked as a freelance artist using his whole flat as a studio, entering art competitions, creating murals, and working with materials including beaten copper and paint on velvet. He was also employed by a Government Department in Auckland, and subsequently relocated to the Wellington Education Board’s architectural department where he worked as a colour consultant for schools, calligrapher for school stationary and invitations, and painted murals for rural schools.

In the early 1970s he was given the opportunity to design a mural for the New Zealand Broadcasting Company’s Television Centre at Avalon, which opened in 1975. He also contributed to the interior design of the complex and created ceramic tiles for the main entrance doors. He may also have worked on a set of ceramic columns that were made for the complex.

In the mid-1980s he suffered a stroke and was unable to continue his employment. He moved to Kapiti Coast where he focused on his physical health and various creative and architectural pursuits. He died in 2004.

Depicts the artist Bill McCardle as a young man seated outdoors holding a small dog, possibly a Border Collie puppy

Bill with Patsy (dog). Date unknown.

Image courtesy William (Bill) Wilson McCardle collection