Laurie’s health had been declining over the past 3 years but, typically, he did not retire at our AGM last May and was in attendance at our Christmas party in late November.
Laurie and wife Marie joined the society in 2005 and Laurie became treasurer in 2007, serving us well in that capacity for 6 years.
He was a good treasurer because his aim was not to spend money but to conserve it. You could be sure that all expenditure was carefully scrutinised and if not seen to be justified questions would be asked.
As with all scholars of history, the accuracy of facts is paramount and Laurie was never happy with “flaky” arguments. You needed to be sure of your ground if you ever engaged in debate with him.
Laurie was also a walker and a good organiser of field trips. One memorable “expedition” he arranged was to visit the buildings in Nelson designed by William Beatson complete with a detailed itinerary from 9.45 to 4.30 on 26 September 2011. I can credit Laurie for learning a new word that day which I have been able to recognise on many buildings since: “quoins”. The printed itinerary was part of a 21 page “handout” on the homes and buildings visited.
His passing leaves a gap in our midst – as our treasurer and also for his knowledge of local people and places gained through his work as an accountant in Nelson over many years.
We hope that Marie will continue to enjoy our company and our programme of meetings planned for 2014 and we offer our sincere condolences to her and her extended family.
Thank you, Laurie, for your dedication and work for Waimea South Historical over the last 8 years.