My Life Story
Growing up as a city boy in Pakuranga, Auckland, Geoff Woodhouse doesn’t seem the most likely candidate to study veterinary science.
A life of governance and community service started at 16 years old for sixth generation West Coaster Joanne Conroy – a woman who gets the job done.
Turning 100 this month, Yorkshire-raised Margaret Reid has lived in Queenstown for almost 70 years after 10 years of post-war OE landed the gutsy little Brit here, where she fell in love while housemaiding at Eichardt’s Hotel.
He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, surrounded by the love, good food and wine that goes with the warmth of a large Italian extended family, so it was inevitable that Domenic Mondillo would excel in hospitality.
He grew up tough as a Crown Terrace farm boy, destined for a life on the edge as an extreme adventurer - a journey that’s seen Jock Jeffery conquer undiscovered peaks from Pakistan to Peru, and sled through outer Greenland.
Debbie Swain-Rewi’s life may have been an emotional rollercoaster that could’ve tipped many over the edge. Instead, it built resilience and instilled immense gratitude and compassion in a heart that’s still constantly pouring out to others.
She grew up a farm girl near Te Anau and after multi-tasking through early motherhood and a full-on corporate and civic career she became Queenstown Lakes’ first female mayor at 43.
Steve Rout was born with entrepreneurship in his blood. His parents Dick and Clarice Rout left a Hamilton dairy farm to operate U-Drive jetboats in Queenstown for two years. They never left - eldest Steve born on the day the old Bungy Backpackers maternity home opened in 1958.
He was the friendly face of pharmacy in Queenstown for 32 years, greeting everyone from insect-ravaged, sunburnt tourists to worried mothers of sick babies and elderly collecting prescriptions, all with a warm, broad smile. Kim Wilkinson was the third-generation pharmacist to own Wilkinsons Pharmacy, which still bears the family name at the bottom of Queenstown Mall.
Johnny Stevenson learned a hard work ethic growing up in a Southland dairy farming family – one that paid off.
He ran the main engine room of Queenstown for 20 years and kept the wheels turning – a born and bred local.
From dancing with the king to tending the wounds of celebrities, former Queenstown Plunket and maternity nurse Penny Wallace has enjoyed some high-flying days.
Tim Hunter always wanted to fly and fly high he did, not only in airplanes but in a 40-plus year tourism and aviation career.
She moved to Queenstown at just 17, spending the next 40 years working her way up the hospitality ladder from hotel housemaid to owner of multiple restaurants.
Chris Blackford has spent a lifetime trying to retain law and order, starting out with some high postings for the British Army.
From Ranfurly to Norway and back to Arrowtown, raising five kids and prize angora goats along the way, dabbling in retail, real estate and journalism, Jan Spary took it all in her stride.
There’s been many a high note in Alison Price’s 30-year-plus high school music teaching role, and while some of her past Wakatipu High School students may now have their names in lights, the little victories are the most memorable.
When Steph Drader arrived in Queenstown back in 1985, the local real estate industry was “pretty much a blokes’ reign”, she says.
He’s had the odd mishap in almost 40 years of Queenstown adventures, but thankfully veteran rafting and parapenting guide Paul van der Kaag has escaped unscathed.
WHY ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS WITH US
The Lakes Weekly is part of Queenstown Media Group (QMG).
QMG is Queenstown’s leading locally owned and operated media company with print, online and social platforms that engage locals with what they care about — everything local!
The Lakes Weekly delivers stories and news that connects with local so they come away each week better connected to their community. Advertising sits within this curated content environment, and it’s a trusted relationship between readers and the Lakes Weekly. Advertisers benefit from the association with the LWB brand values.
The Lakes Weekly is hand delivered to every business in Queenstown, Arrowtown, Frankton, Five Mile Remarkables Park and Glenda Drive on Tuesday. Copies are available in service stations, libraries and drop boxes throughout the region and every supermarket throughout the Queenstown basin and Wanaka.
Online the issue is available Monday afternoon, on lwb.co.nz and the Qtn App.