Queenstown developer and WWII veteran dies at 94

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Prominent Queenstown property owner, developer and World War II veteran Jock Boyd has died.

Jock died at Christchurch Hospital last Thursday, two days after turning 94 and just over a week after he left Queenstown for more specialist medical care and to live closer to his daughters.

The day before flying to Christchurch he posed with his war medals for a national project capturing portraits of surviving World War II veterans.

Jock was photographed at Lakes District Hospital by Queenstowner Mike Langford, president of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers which is undertaking the project.

“He managed to get out of bed and sit in a chair for us, which was fantastic,” Langford says.

“It was such a pleasure to be able to photograph him, I felt privileged. He was really alert and he was really proud to be photographed and thanked us for it.”

During WWII Jock was a wireless operator and air gunner with Bomber Command which ran bombing missions over Germany.

Two years ago he travelled to England with other Royal New Zealand Air Force veterans for the unveiling of London’s Bomber Command Memorial and the 70th anniversary of his No.75 Squadron.

“It means a lot to go back and dedicate that memorial,” he told Mountain Scene at the time.

A born-and-bred local, Jock was a builder by trade but also one of Queenstown’s biggest developers in the 1970s and ’80s.

An early venture was developing property in Hamilton Road, central Queenstown, in an area that became colloquially known as Boydtown.

A few years ago, Facebook confused mobile device users by mistakenly referring to Queenstown as ‘Boydtown, Otago’ – Facebook corrected the error after Mountain Scene got in touch.

Jock, through his family trust, was best known as the former owner of two historic downtown properties, Eichardt’s Tavern and Mountaineer Hotel.

However his biggest legacy may be the development of Frankton Industrial Estate – a cul de sac off Glenda Drive is named Jock Boyd Place.

In 1986, he brought down from Twizel a concrete batch now used by Firth Industries.

The batch was originally built for the United States Navy’s Pearl Harbour base at Hawaii, where it survived Japanese bombing during WWII – after the war it was bought by the NZ Government to build the Roxburgh dam.

In the late 1980s Jock developed the Frankton Village shopping centre incorporating a windmill and clocktower.
Jock also bought up residential property on the corner of Stanley Street and Frankton Road for a multi-storey hotel. 

Jock’s plans didn’t proceed but the Millennium Hotel was subsequently developed on the site in the mid-1990s.

A Queenstown Hill neighbour June King, who’s known Jock for the past eight years, says: “He was an inspiration to the neighbours in the street as he still took his wife to medical appointments in Frankton as recently as April.” 

His funeral is at Queenstown’s St Andrew’s Church at 1pm this Tuesday.