Lakeside memorial unveiled to Queenstown pioneer

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A memorial to Queenstown pioneer Richard Cogar Bryant was unveiled today (Saturday) by the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

The unveiling was performed by his great-great-grandson and local stonemason Tim Bryant who built the monument.

The ceremony was witnessed by about 120 people gathered in town this weekend for a Bryant family 150th reunion.

Richard Cogar Bryant was sent to Queenstown as a policeman from Port Chalmers in 1862 to help keep the peace in the new town.

Within two years he had been appointed police superintendent and also the first Lake Wakatipu harbourmaster.

The Bryants are thought to be only family with a record of 150 years of continuous settlement in the Wakatipu.

Speaking at the unveiling, descendant Richard Bryant acknowledged Queenstown Lakes District Council had refused the family’s original request to site the memorial in the Gardens.

However, Richard said on reflection the new One Mile site is perfect because the memorial looks back to Queenstown but also points up the lake towards Kinloch where Richard Cogar Bryant and wife Mary moved to in 1868.

Richard Cogar Bryant was born in St Ives, Cornwall, England, in 1823, and died in Kinloch in 1910, aged 86.

In Kinloch he built the Glacier Hotel which is now Kinloch Lodge.

The stone for the memorial comes from Gibbston.