Alan Stowell loves that he was able to make a smooth transition to a Ryman Healthcare village helped by the sale of his home in the beautiful Central Otago town of Cromwell.
Alan has a strong history within the south, having worked in the top echelons of business, farming and political circles.
He initially moved into Kevin Hickman village, with thoughts of continuing regular contact with his daughters coming into play. He has now moved down the road into Anthony Wilding village where his health needs will be catered to.
He has three daughters including Mary, who remains in Central Otago. By moving to Christchurch Alan is closer to his youngest daughter Megan, who lives in Nelson, and definitely closer to Jenny, the eldest, who lives in Christchurch.
Alan says he has had some health issues so the sale of his Cromwell home to move into the village means he has extra support on hand if needed. Despite concerns about the New Zealand property market, he found no real issues in making a change.
“(The property market) is very strong in Cromwell, very strong… million dollar houses are not unusual in Cromwell now,” he says of a relatively easy sales process.
The Ryman team at Kevin Hickman was very positive in terms of helping welcome him into the village, and now the team at Anthony Wilding has been equally welcoming.
He is maintaining his family contacts. Daughter Megan helped him with the move to Christchurch and he has received visits from other family members.
As a youngster he was brought up on an Esk Valley farm. His parents sold the property in 1947 and he found work in nearby St Andrews on State Highway 1, where he worked as a mechanic in the local garage in the early 1950s.
In 1954 he and a business partner Stuart Blue moved to Ranfurly and soon enough opportunities opened up. They took on an International Harvester franchise, selling and servicing tractors and farm machinery.
Later he and his partner separated their interests. Around 1959, Alan moved to Cromwell to take on various businesses including another International Harvester franchise that extended through Central Otago, including to Wanaka, Haast and part of the West Coast.
The business ran well but the start of preparation work for the Clyde Dam saw problems emerge. To enable the dam and lake-based project he lost some three acres commercial land for operating the business. Alan sought compensation, which he was awarded in the High Court, though the Government did try and reverse that decision in the Court of Appeal, he says.
Alan did receive an amount of money, but he says the battle was costly. He re-established himself with a Mazda car sale franchise, for which he built premises in Alexandra.
Despite the friction between government and private enterprise, Alan eventually took on public roles. He served for 15 years on the Cromwell Borough Council, and was a member of the Upper Clutha Development Committee in the early 1980s. He served on the Otago Central Electric Power Board for seven years, including time as deputy chairman.
He also became a member of the National Party executive in the mid to late-1970s, getting to know senior politicians including Prime minister Rob Muldoon. “I got on very well with Rob…” Knowing the high-fliers of the day helped in business connections, he says
In the 2000s, he spent some five to six years farming in Washdyke (growing barley and raising sheep) before moving back to a home in Cromwell and eventually on to Anthony Wilding village.