Cruising after 50 years


Well-known Queenstown couple Kathy and Jim Buckham marked their 50th or golden wedding anniversary by cruising to Walter Peak on the resort’s historic Earnslaw steamer last Sunday.

Jim’s family is steeped in Queenstown history - his great-grandfather was an early settler, his grandfather owned the former Buckham’s Brewery and he lived at what’s today’s Eichardt’s Private Hotel when his parents owned it in the early 1950s.

He met West Coast-born Kathy when they were both at school in Invercargill, marrying in that city when they were both 21, then raising two children.

After shifting to Queenstown in 1979, Jim clocked up 18,000 hours flying helicopters and then fixed-wing planes.

He then worked for seven years for aviation security at Queenstown Airport, retiring on his 70th birthday.

Kath was the first practice manager for today’s local law firm Mactodd.

She’s been a volunteer for Queenstown’s Citizens Advice Bureau, including a stint as chairperson, for the past 11 years.

Asked the secret to 50 years’ marriage, Jim says it’s “marrying the right woman”.

Kathy’s answer: “Because I’m always cared for.”