John Trewin – MdB 44-50

Monday 23 January 2023

Submitted by Jennylee Trewin

John was born in Singapore on the 21st July 1933, where his father served as a British Police Officer.  With the fall of Singapore during World War II, John’s father was captured by the Japanese and placed in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.  After the war, John’s parents and siblings moved to Perth, Western Australia, but, John was left in England, where he attended Christs Hospital School in Sussex, from the age of twelve to seventeen, as a boarder.


John arrived in Fremantle from England on the 19th October 1950.

John lived such a long, diverse and colourful life, it is difficult to summarise in just a few short words.

After a variety of office jobs, at age twenty, John joined the Western Australian Police Force.  In 1958, John joined the Royal Papua & New Guinea Constabulary and rose to the rank of Inspector, First Class.  He began his career in Port Moresby but was transferred throughout PNG, working in criminal investigations.  John spoke about his life in New Guinea as being amongst the happiest times of his life – they were very special times, full of incidents and surprises and John was in his element working with the Papua and New Guinean people.

On return to Perth, John studied at the University of Western Australia and graduated as a lawyer.  He set up his own law firm, known today, as Trewin Norman & Co.  When John sold the business, he spent some time working for the Aboriginal Legal Service in Kununurra, Balgo Hills and Kalgoorlie.  He also, worked as a legal advisor to clients of an Australian federal relationships service, as a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau, in Perth, and as a Notary, based at his home in Ocean Reef.

John had a love of the ocean.  He also, had a love of writing stories and was a member of the Peter Cowan Writers Centre in Joondalup, for many years, serving some time, as president.

John often reminisced about his days spent at Christs Hospital and frequently stated his strong belief, that, “Once an Old Blue, Always an Old Blue“.

For all those who knew John, they would agree that it was a great privilege to be a part of his life.  John was an honest, compassionate and decent man of the highest order – a true gentleman – a fine example of humanity.  He will be sadly missed by family, friends, colleagues and clients, alike.