Folk of Toko­roa will be missed

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

He made a life in Toko­roa and now DC Auto Elec­tri­cal owner John Pope will say good­bye to the town.

Pope and his wife Bar­bara have de­cided to shut up shop af­ter 28 years in the busi­ness and re­tire to Tau­ranga.

Their busi­ness be­gan when Pope, an auto elec­tri­cian, was made re­dun­dant at Kin­leith af­ter 13 years of ser­vice.

He put al­most ev­ery dollar of his re­dun­dancy pay into start­ing his new-found ven­ture.

‘‘I bought a vac­uum cleaner and a lawn mower and we put the rest into the build­ing.’’

He was the new kid on the block down Boro­nia, with the street al­ready well es­tab­lished, he said.

The build­ing started with a ‘‘tiny’’ of­fice and a work­shop big enough to fit a truck or a cou­ple of cars.

Over the years he slowly built the busi­ness up as well as his ‘‘loyal’’ cus­tomer base.

But what re­ally kept him in town for so long were the peo­ple.

‘‘There’s a lot of peo­ple we will miss.

‘‘Toko­roa was a real eye-opener. There were so many eth­nic groups here.’’

Pope said it’s changed his out­look

There’s cer­tain things you do that build good rap­port

with peo­ple

John Pope DC Auto Elec­tri­cal owner

on life as well as his four chil­dren who were all schooled in Toko­roa.

He had a real at­tach­ment to the town and its peo­ple, so much so he would help al­most any­one out.

‘‘There’s cer­tain things you do that build good rap­port with peo­ple.’’

The re­la­tion­ship he’s built with the com­mu­nity wasn’t even tar­nished when his shop was ‘‘ram­raided’’ with $9000 worth of stock stolen.

‘‘We had to wait six weeks to get a de­cent door.’’

The clo­sure meant the pair lost money but it was just part of the busi­ness game.

‘‘In busi­ness you’ve just got to ac­cept th­ese things.’’ And that’s ex­actly what he did. In fi­nal weeks lead­ing up to closing, he’s said his last hur­rah to the peo­ple who have been part of his life in Toko­roa.

And while he may not come back, he will never for­get the town he is leav­ing be­hind.

John Pope says good­bye to Toko­roa af­ter 28 years run­ning DC Auto Elec­tri­cal.

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