Last updated: May 27, 2010

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SA builder Alan Hickinbotham dies after long illness

BUILDING developer and industry leader Alan Hickinbotham died yesterday after a long illness. He was aged 84.

Mr Hickinbotham, the architect of Hickinbotham Group of Companies, had regular dialysis treatment for several years and died peacefully at home.

The former Geelong and South Adelaide key defender established a home-building company in 1954, which grew to be among the largest in Australia and was responsible for more than 50 major community estates across Adelaide.

Housing Industry Association SA executive director Robert Harding praised Mr Hickinbotham's revolutionary influence in the residential sector.

"Alan Hickinbotham was a giant of the residential construction industry and certainly for many years an influential member of HIA," he said.

"He was one of the group of builders who was instrumental in HIA being formed in SA and in many ways set the tone for residential development in this state.

"His concept of skilled immigration to support the trades is generally acknowledged these days as being the blueprint for how immigration for skilled workers should be looked at.

"His concept of an all-embracing residential village which he put in place through the Andrews Farm development became in many ways a blueprint for what has taken place since.

"Alan was a tough negotiator but always fair and honest and he will be sorely missed by the industry."

The Hickinbotham Group contributes regularly to the arts, sporting teams including South Adelaide, community clubs, health foundations and numerous charities.

During the 1960s and early 1970s, the Hickinbotham Group sponsored migrant families from the United Kingdom to settle in Adelaide.

The group brought 1000 families to Adelaide, helped them find jobs and built and furnished 40 flats to provide temporary, subsidised, rental accommodation.

The Panthers' Noarlunga Oval home was named in honour of Mr Hickinbotham in 2006. He was there for the final time on Saturday as a spectator when South lost to Glenelg.

A former teacher at Geelong Grammar and awarded the Order of Australia in 1998, Mr Hickinbotham played state football for SA three times between 1944-48.

Alan and his wife Margaret have five children; sons David and Michael and daughters Jane, Julie and Ruth. Michael is the current managing director of Hickinbotham.

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  • mike and judy whittaker of adelaide Posted at 4:50 PM May 26, 2010

    Sorry to hear that. My wife and I met him at the opening of the andrews farm estate back in 1990 - a very down to earth guy. We built our 1st house with hickinbotham and now we are building our second house with them too. RIP.

  • Ian of Adelaide of Adelaide Posted at 3:23 PM May 26, 2010

    The man should be seen as one of South Australias modern day pioneers. He has done much for the community and his family, I am sure are proud of his work.

  • PIRATE of FLEURIEU Posted at 1:53 PM May 26, 2010

    Alan exemplified the real spirit of South Australia, sportsman, family man, business man, and friend all with a touch of mischief. A great example to try to live up to. RIP Allan Hickinbottam you have worked hard and helped many, thank you.

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