Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 16, June 1972


There is always a sense of personal loss when a worthy citizen is no longer with us in the physical sense. So it is with the death in 1971 of Mr. J.B. Beeche who for so many years, in an unobtrusive manner, gained the esteem and affection of his community. He was born in Reefton in 1882, the 6th child of a family of nine. His mother and family moved to Paeroa in 1895 his father having died in Australia. At the early age of 13 years he became a law clerk in the office of Mr. E.W. Porritt a solicitor who had established a practice in Paeroa and later had a branch in Waihi. After a few years Mr. Beeche entered Trinity College in Auckland in order to serve as a Methodist Home Missionary, but in 1914 he returned to the legal profession and married Miss Ada Sim at the Methodist Church in Paeroa. That year also he took over Mr. Porritt's Branch Office in Waihi. In 1941 he entered into partnership with Mr. H.L. Boughton and later with Mr. K.C. Grant.

The history of a man is not represented by material things. Mr. Beeche's love of mankind was evidenced in many ways - through the Church, education and his desire to help his fellow beings. His love of his Church is reflected into his Christianity. He was secretary to the Methodist Church Trustees for nearly 50 years and chairman for many years. In 1949 he was appointed Vice-President of the Methodist Church of N.Z. - a very great honour. It has been said that no person has done more for the cause of education in Waihi than Mr. Beeche. For many years he was Chairman of the School Committee which then controlled the three primary schools and later the new and separate High School Committee appointed him Chairman. Throughout his legal career Mr. Beeche expressed his desire to help and to understand. The good that he did lives after him. He is survived by a Son and Daughter - Mr. L.S. Beeche of Waihi and Mrs. M. Kepple of Tauranga. Mrs. Alf Jenkinson of Paeroa is his Sister-in-law.