Born: 27 September 1883, Adelaide, South Australia
Died: 17 September 1980, Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia
Occupation: Architect, Town Planner
Hometown: Perth, Western Australia
Boas grew up in Adelaide and was educated at Whinham and Prince Alfred Colleges. In 1899 he was apprenticed to architect Edward Davies for five years, after which he studied at the South Australian School of Mines and Industries.
In June 1905 he moved to Perth where he established a solo practice at Weld Chambers, St George’s Terrace, until 1907 when he formed Bastow and Boas in partnership with Austin Bastow, then mayor of Subiaco.
In 1911 he married Sadie ‘Sarah’ Cohen. At first they lived in Mount Street, Perth, before moving to the Esplanade, Peppermint Grove, in the 1920s. Their first child, Peggy, was born in 1914.
In March 1916 Edwin Summerhayes enlisted and was sent overseas. (He would return to Australia in 1917, as ‘unsuitable’.) In July 1916 Boas was rejected for service with the AIF but, determined to do his bit and despite being Jewish, in November he was accepted for service with the YMCA. Given the honorary rank of lieutenant and without pay or other entitlements, he served in London as the Jewish Secretary for the YMCA. He returned to Perth on Orontes in January 1920 and immediately resumed practice at AMP Chambers, where Charles Oldham was also in practice.
When Oldham died unexpectedly in March 1920, his executor arranged for Boas to continue his practice, and he established Oldham and Boas. Colin Ednie-Brown, who had been articled to Oldham, continued under Boas. In 1923 he became a partner in the firm, which then became Oldham Boas & Ednie-Brown.
On his own and in partnership Boas was responsible for many private homes, churches and public buildings in Perth. In addition to his architecture and town planning, Boas was an influential leader of the Jewish community. He also served on the Perth City Council from 1914-1916, 1926–1942 and in 1944.
In 1969 he was awarded an Order of the British Empire (Civil) for his services to architecture and town planning, and in 1976 Delhi Park in West Perth was renamed Harold Boas Gardens in recognition of his contribution to the city of Perth.
After a lifetime of design and having outlived Sadie by six months, Boas died in September 1980 aged 96.