A proud moment

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Queenstown businessman and Mountain Scene founder Barry Thomas, fifth from right, is pictured with his family and NZ Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy, to his left, after receiving his Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in Auckland this afternoon.

Pictured with them, from left, are daughter-in-law and son Virginie and Lyndon, wife Sharon son and daughter-in-law Richard and Ingrid and grand-daughters Gemma (in pink) and Holly.

Thomas’ Queen’s Birthday nod was for services to tourism and business – he established Scene in 1972 and was first appointed to the Skyline Enterprises board in 1975, soon became the chairman and kept that job for 33 years.

Thomas was also the first to get a casino licence in NZ, for Christchurch which opened in 1994 and he’s been involved with the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, New Zealand Tourism Board, Christchurch International Airport and Queenstown Airport Corporation boards, and the NZ Rugby Union board.