F. G. F. Sheppard

b. 1908d. 1997

Also known as:

  • Fergus George Frederick Sheppard

Fergus George Frederick Sheppard (sometimes abbreviated to 'Ferg' or 'Shep') was born in Auckland and studied at Elam School of Art (1921-24) and then the newly established School of Architecture (from 1926), at the University of Auckland. His architectural studies were completed part-time while working as a draftsman for Horace Massey.

Sheppard moved into the public service in 1937, working in the Auckland District Office of the Public Works Department. Through WWII Sheppard was enlisted but was able to remain in New Zealand working in the Defence Engineering Service Corps, most prominently on Middlemore Hospital, Ōtāhuhu (1943–46).

After the war Shepperd continued in the Public Works Department but was seconded to work for the Department of Health in Wellington. In 1949 Sheppard became Assistant Government Architect alongside Gordon Wilson till 1952, when Wilson was promoted to Government Architect. Sheppard acceded to the position of Government Architect after the unexpected death of Wilson in 1959.

During Sheppard's time as Government Architect (1959 and 1971) the Architectural Division undertook some 700 major projects and the office itself doubled in size to meet demand.

Sheppard had an "encyclopaedic knowledge of New Zealand’s historic architecture" supported over his lifetime by his collection of newspaper clippings, photographs and other documentation. This collection was transferred to the University of Auckland in 1975 where it remains an important resource.

Through his retirement Sheppard produced landscape paintings and pottery, returning perhaps, to his earliest art school training.

See also Peter Richardson. 'Sheppard, Fergus George Frederick - Biography', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2022. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 December 2022).