So­ci­ety’s his­tory told

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By DEB­BIE JAMIESON

The Queen­stown His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety cel­e­brated turn­ing 50 ear­lier this month with a trip on the Earnslaw – a piece of his­tory it cam­paigned to save.

Chair­woman Mar­ion Bor­rell said the so­ci­ety was es­tab­lished in 1965 by a group cam­paign­ing to pre­vent the Queen­stown Bor­ough Coun­cil from de­mol­ish­ing the old stone li­brary on the cor­ner of Bal­larat and Stan­ley streets (now the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau).

Later cam­paigns in­volved help­ing to save the Earnslaw from be­ing scrapped or scut­tled, stop­ping a ho­tel devel­op­ment on the Park St re­serve, and help­ing save and re­store Wil­liams Cottage and the One Mile Pow­er­house.

There were also de­feats, such as fail­ing to save Buck­ham’s Brew­ery build­ings from de­mo­li­tion to make way for the ho­tel, now the Novo­tel Lake­side, on the site.

Among the 60 par­tic­i­pants at the week­end’s cel­e­bra­tion were two found­ing mem­bers, well-known lo­cals Joan and Alan Cooke, who cut the cake.

Peo­ple who had given no­table ser­vice to the so­ci­ety were ac­knowl­edged with lapel badges.

The week­end also saw the launch of . Her­itage Alive a his­tory of the so­ci­ety writ­ten by Danny Knud­son.

In launch­ing the book Bor­rell said it was inspiring and hum­bling.

‘‘There were times of great strug­gle when the preser­va­tion of sig­nif­i­cant his­toric build­ings lay in the hands of a small group of Her­itageAlive, a his­tory of the first 50 years of

the Queen­stown and Dis­trict

His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety by

Danny Knud­son. vol­un­teers armed only with pens, type­writ­ers, voices and de­ter­mi­na­tion. We and our dis­trict are greatly in­debted to th­ese past mem­bers.’’

Bor­rell said the ever-in­creas­ing pres­sure of devel­op­ment in the dis­trict al­ways meant a risk of los­ing his­toric build­ings and trees.

‘‘The ‘pro­tec­tion’ part of our role will re­quire vig­i­lance . . . At the same time, our pro­mo­tion of his­tory is be­ing aided by won­drous ad­vances in com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy. Our app of her­itage sites will very soon be avail­able on the in­ter­net, smartphones and tablets. We will of course con­tinue to pub­lish books and our mag­a­zine.’’

Her­itage Alive is at Queen­stown and Ar­row­town li­braries and Lakes Dis­trict Mu­seum.

Au­thor Danny Knud­son presents the book of the Queen­stown His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s 50 years of ac­tion to for­mer pres­i­dent Ray Clark­son.

Photo: Brian Marquand

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