World War II veteran Benjamin Alfred Smith passed away peacefully on August 10 in his 99th year.
A service to celebrate Ben’s life was held at the Howick RSA on Wednesday.
Ben – 203420 – served from 1941 to 1946 in 2nd Div NZEF finishing as a corporal.
After the war Ben met and married the late Gwen, and they moved to Paeroa. Then he bought Mangakino Motors in the South Waikato in 1952.
That year they lost everything in a devastating fire but they rebuilt the business and continued to run it between 1952 until 1965.
Ben then bought Mangakino Buses which he operated until 1970 when he and Gwen and the family moved to Howick.
He lived in Howick/Bucklands Beach for nearly 50 years, working for the last five or six years of his working life for Howick Borough Council running their engineering workshops in Moore Street. Prior to that he was a mechanic and workshop manager at NZ Motor Corporation in Picton Street.
Ben was an active member of KEV Bowling and Bucklands Beach Bowling Clubs and the Howick RSA. He loved gardening; fishing and family.
He is survived by his five children – Gary, Lorraine, Karen, Bev and Alan, his 11 grandchildren – Adrian, Troy, Jacqui, George, Sasha, Gemma, Alina, Luke, Steven, Carl & Rachel and nine great grandchildren – Esme, Logan, Alyssa; Mikayla, Georgia, Sophie, Sean, Hannah, Heidi.