David Roache of Roache Concrete Products on the main highway in Foxton has been involved in making concrete products for 50 years, learning the trade from his father as a teenager.
The company, David's family, including siblings, friends, and the firm's 15 staff plus scores of satisfied customers celebrated that milestone last Friday.
David and James Stewart said David Roache had built two sheds for them over the years. "He is an absolute craftsman, a pretty legendary cowshed builder, really. He takes pride in his work and can adapt the plan when required. They are fantastic guys.
"When we wanted to build an underpass, they were our first port of call."
The Stewarts also take every opportunity available to tease him about being Irish, their family being of Scottish extraction.
Dennis and Linda Morgan bought their first cowshed from David way back in 1992 and recently had him build an enormous one in Paihiatua.
"He is neat to deal with, does quality work, and came up with a design based on our needs. Concrete isn't easy to do. David can talk to anyone and understands what you are looking for. If needed, we will use them again."
Roaches also built the Kiwi House at Wellington Zoo, the Foxton Beach protection sea wall, Foxton squash courts, and the Feltex Warehouse.
Roache Concrete Products has also done stock crossings, bridges, silage bins and feedpads as well as buildings such as the Kiwi House at Wellington Zoo, the Foxton Beach protection sea wall, Foxton squash courts and the Feltex Warehouse.
David is the fourth child of a family of six, and apart from his elder brother who has died, all his siblings were at the party on Friday.
To his sister Ruth, David was always "my little brother, though he seems everyone's dad now," she said. "David grew the business. Dad started in Coley St and David moved the business to Johnson St in 1994."
Another sister, Elizabeth, who owns a property in Foxton Beach, discovered to her delight that the now-defunct concrete watertank in the backyard was built by her dad and brother in 1968.
"David told me he remembered doing that job." As a memento of it, she gave him a piece of it, complete with an inscription.
Levin Crane Hire's retired owner David Sayles and David Roache are old chums.
"We have known each other professionally for 32 years. We have done lots of jobs together," said Sayles. "When we were 15 or 16 we both had V8 coupes." But friendship only goes so far.
"He still won't let me drive his classic car," said Roache.
John McEarlean from Moutoa said he had known David Roache all his life.
"Our grandfathers were friends. We got him to build an 80-bar rotary cow shed for us 20 years ago. I think it was his first big one. We picked him because he was a local. I think the job was challenging for him, it took him nine months to complete. It was a big job.
David is always helpful, no matter the job."
David's dad started the business in 1954 and by 1972 indicated he wanted to retire.
"I also wanted to get married, so I bought the business from him," said Roache. It is still a family-run business with, among others, daughter Amanda and son-in-law Kurt Jackson, who is team leader, also involved.
"Technology has changed the business a lot since I started. Back then it was really hard work."
Roache Concrete Products works mainly within the farming sector and has pioneered a flatpack version of a cowshed, called Foxpack.
Roache reckons he has built at least 60 rotary sheds, and 140 herringbone milking sheds since 1992.
The obligatory cake came in the form of a Foxpac shed and was cut jointly by David Roache and Noel Johnston. Noel was David's very first client. He built for him a 24-a-side herringbone shed.
More than 200 associates and customers came to the party last Friday, so from as far away as Taranaki and Wairarapa.