His­tory re­peated

Tales of re­gion cap­tured in book

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By JOHN EDENS

The penin­sula project to doc­u­ment the his­tory of Kelvin Heights in Queen­stown was of­fi­cially un­veiled at the weekend. His­to­rian Ge­orge Sin­gle­ton’s book Our Place in the Sun edited by Chris Parvin was launched at Hil­ton Queen­stown’s Wakatipu Grill. Mr Sin­gle­ton, a re­tired county clerk, said his in­ter­est in his­tory de­vel­oped dur­ing his school days when the mod­ern his­tory of New Zealand and Aus­tralia was ig­nored in favour of Bri­tish and Euro­pean texts. He said he was a vo­cif­er­ous reader and thought that it was a rel­a­tively sim­ple task to doc­u­ment 50 years of the penin­sula. ‘‘Hell, it’s only 50 years , but I thought ‘ Heck, yeah,I have to go right back and do the pre-his­tory’. It’s not just a book, it’s a his­tory of the com­mu­nity, the story of a real com­mu­nity and the Otago-South­land of years ago writ­ten for our com­mu­nity and for those who are to fol­low.’’ Dur­ing the re­search he spoke to many of the de­scen­dants of pi­o­neer­ing Wakatipu fam­i­lies, the Jar­dines, the Mee fam­ily and oth­ers. The book, pub­lished by Kelvin Penin­sula Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion, in­cludes re­pro­duced colour and black and white photographs, painstak­ingly re­searched text and a wealth of in­for­ma­tion about the set­tler era and the his­tory of Queen­stown. Pi­o­neer Wil­liam Rees built a homestead near Kawa­rau Falls in the 1860s, the mod­ern day Hil­ton site, be­fore sub­di­vid­ing of the penin­sula started in earnest in 1958. Sec­tions were avail­able from a start­ing price of around 100 pounds. To or­der a copy of the book email talk2kpca@gmail.com.

Pla­ceintheSun

Photo: JOHN EDENS/ FAIR­FAX NZ 628671523

His­to­rian: Ge­orge Sin­gle­ton at theOur

book

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