Stalwart who has given his all to Arrowtown

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An Arrowtown community stalwart has been honoured for his unparalleled contribution to village life. 

Retired shoe shop owner Les Rogerson, 86, has been volunteering for “little jobs here and there” for more than 40 years in the historic gold-mining town. 

Described as the ‘backbone’ of the Arrowtown Village Ass­ociation, Rogerson (right) also organised the Meals on Wheels service, plays in the Arrow Miners’ Band and is even the unofficial town police chief – rostering volunteers to man the local station. 

Rogerson was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to the village association at a small ceremony last Sunday afternoon. 

“I’m a bit bewildered,” Rogerson says. 

“There are people who deserve this more than me but I’ve enjoyed it all. 

“The police station is good because you can go down there and have a sleep. There’s not much crime. 

“No, it’s something to do that helps you get to know people living here. It’s just little jobs here and there but they all add up,” he says. 

Rogerson built his first house in Arrowtown in 1965 on a $400 section – now worth an estimated $400,000. 

Arrowtown’s Queenstown Lakes District councillor Lex Perkins says: “His long-term commitment has certainly not gone unnoticed. 

“You can’t comprehend how many locals he’s organised to carry out Meals on Wheels and were it not for Les’ tremendous level of effort the police station would have closed down a long time ago.”