History buffs seize chance to meet author

Pictured at the book signing are, from left, Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, Howick Historian Alan La Roche, former Howick borough council mayor Morrin Cooper, and Paper Plus Howick manager Katie Treneman. Times photo Wayne Martin

Dozens of people turned out to have copies of a book detailing the history of the local community signed.

The book, entitled Owairoa to Howick, is the work of highly respected Howick Historian and author Alan La Roche.

It contains a compilation of stories documenting the history of Howick and districts, celebrating the region’s 175th anniversary this year, and is published by Times Media.

La Roche and former Howick borough mayor Morrin Cooper, who wrote the book’s foreward, signed copies for people outside Poppies Bookshop and Paper Plus Howick in Picton Street on April 9.

People were welcome to take along their own copies to be signed or buy a copy on the day.

“It went very well,” La Roche says.

“We had a lot of fun and sold quite a few books at both sites because of the public’s appreciation at being able to meet Morrin, who wrote the foreward, and myself, who wrote the book, and the excellent artwork the staff at the Times produced.

“We probably signed 30-40 books. It was a very good number.

“Both shops have been selling lots of [copies of] Owairoa to Howick.”

La Roche says a number of people who had their books signed asked him questions including about the difference between his previous book, Grey’s Folly: A History of Howick, Pakuranga, Bucklands-Eastern Beaches, East Tamaki, Whitford, Beachlands and Maraetai, and his new work.

“I explained that they’re quite different.

“I think Owairoa to Howick has more community activities [in it] rather than a straight history of the area.”

And he says the number of people at the book signing shows there’s strong interest in Howick’s history.

“There certainly is a strong passion and feeling for our history in Howick.

“We had quite a big crowd around while we were signing those books.”

La Roche says more book signings will be held in east Auckland after Easter with details to be confirmed.