Face of the day

Today’s face of the day Tom Kroon, will be well known by anyone who has lived in Howick some time in the past 38 years.

My family moved to Howick when I was at University and when Cam and I and the kids returned from Melbourne we decided to settle there and we stayed for seven years, the longest we have ever lived in one area. I have purchased a number of items from his shop over the years and the service has always been professional, knowledgeable and friendly.

Today is his stores last day.

LOCAL LEGEND: Tom Kroon?s Music is closing down after 38 years of business. Photo Ben Hill

LOCAL LEGEND: Tom Kroon?s Music is closing down after 38 years of business.
Photo Ben Hill

Tom Kroon knows exactly what he’ll miss most when he shuts up his music shop after nearly four decades of trading in Howick.

“It’s the people,” he says.

“Being able to help people enjoy music and developing friendships as a result has been really great.”

Kroon has decided the time is right to retire after 38 years of serving musically inclined customers from all over New Zealand. His shop Tom Kroon’s Music will close on March 31.

“It’s probably time, I’m nearly 65. You either do it properly or you don’t.”

The business has been a family affair with wife Anneke and daughters Elizabeth and Monique helping out where they could.

“Even when she was heavily pregnant with Liz, my wife would still drive to the shop on a Vespa scooter.

“You probably wouldn’t get away with that nowadays though.”

Kroon was born in Indonesia to Dutch parents and his family moved to Bucklands Beach when he was 8 years old. The transition to a new country was initially tough because he didn’t speak any English.

Eventually he grasped the language and after training as a teacher he found his true calling was music.

“I grew up with instruments, playing the piano accordion, playing in bands.

“My father’s family was mostly in education and my mother’s was business, so I sort of found the middle ground between them.”

The shop is holding a retirement sale which Kroon said allows him to give back to the community he loves.

“We thought we would finish by giving specials to the customers. They may as well have the benefit of it. It’s fun to see people come in, it’s quite rewarding.”

Music will still feature as a big part of his life once he retires and he also plans to explore his adopted country.

“I’ll still be enjoying music, I might find myself singing for my own amusement.

“My wife and I love travelling from one end of the country to the other and we love all the small towns, the ones that aren’t so commercialised. The real New Zealand.”

Howick Village Business Association town centre manager Jenny Foster said Kroon “will be sadly missed”.

“Everyone knows him, his store is a Howick icon.”

– Eastern Courier