Knees-up for long-time locals

Celebrating locals: Chris Campbell, left, and Simon Hayes

Queenstown locals – or anyone who arrived before 1990 – are being invited to catch up with each other and celebrate their contributions to town.

Local realtors Simon Hayes and Chris Campbell are organising the party for Friday September 27 at the Queenstown Memorial Centre.

“It’s a way of getting Queenstown locals to connect, or reconnect, because in years gone by the community was incredibly close and everyone knew everyone, and we’ve lost that,” Campbell says.

“These people are the foundation of modern-day Queenstown, and it would be nice to actually say ‘thank you’ and bring them all together in one room, whether it be over a cup of tea, a sherry or a Speight’s.”

The organisers are asking people to register for the function – by emailing – and to bring a plate, in the time-honoured way, and a piece of memorabilia from the old days.

Admission’s $15 a head, with any proceeds from the function going to Queenstown Lakes Family Centre.

Hayes says the idea for it came to him from attending funerals where long-time locals often regret that they’re the only occasions they get to catch up.

He notes that some long-timers who’ve contributed greatly to the growth of the town “are clicking the years by, and quite frankly we don’t know whose event we’re going to next”.

“So we thought we’d get in before, while we had a chance.”

He’s hoping the function, which’ll start at 4.30pm, can attract about 300 people – a cash bar will operate.

“I’m very confident we’ll have a great night, and maybe it’s the start of a regular event.”

For anyone hesitant about coming, Campbell advises: “Register anyway – you might be surprised who you’ll meet on the day.”