Historian Alan La Roche to step down

Alan la Roche (right) is a life-long resident of Howick and a founding member of the Howick Historical Village. He is pictured with Sir Barry Curtis who is the Howick and Districts Historical Society Patron at the society’s AGM on Saturday. Photo supplied

Alan La Roche, who is responsible for the creation of the Howick Historical Village, is taking a back seat at the village.

La Roche was recognised at the Howick and Districts Historical Society’s annual meeting on Saturday and will step down from the society’s board.

Marin Burgess, the society’s president, said Sir Barry Curtis, who is the society’s patron, was there to acknowledge La Roche’s “enormous contribution”.

“Alan has been the life and soul of the society and village for well over 50 years and those 50 years have been eventful and all-encompassing,” Burgess said.

“I know he will act as advisor with the organisation of the 175th anniversary of Howick and districts in 2022 so he’s not even stopping now.

“In my opinion he should be up there with Alexander Turnbull and Thomas Hocken – he leaves us with a historical village of national significance along with many other activities recognising the heritage in the district.”

In 2006 the Society conferred on La Roche the title of Howick Historian.

Sir Barry said: “In appreciation of the many years of work from Alan and the huge contribution made not only to the Howick Historical Village but the wider community, the Historical Society will sponsor a series of interviews with Alan as an opportunity for him to tell his story, recount some of the tales, talk about why the village and heritage is so important and ensure we have on record Alan’s words in Alan’s voice.”