This week in Mountain Scene history


1976 Mount Cook Airlines founder Henry Wigley receives a knighthood in the New Year Honours List. Sir Henry formed his original tourism company in 1938 and is widely credited with putting Queenstown on the tourism map. 

1986 Mountain Scene launches what’s billed as “the South Island’s largest-ever newspaper reader contest” – the lucky winner will take ownership of a Goldfields section worth $55,000. More than 6000 entries roll in. 

1996 Residents of the Lake Hayes dress circle are up in arms about a pongy pump station that’s already leaked raw sewage into their pristine waters. The pumphouse at the Bendemeer Bay picnic and swimming spot also lets off an almost continuous strong stink. 

2002 Kiwi sailing star Russell Coutts sails on Lake Wakatipu for the first time. He’s in Queenstown to coach young sailors and speak at a charity dinner auction. Coutts says he’d love to buy property here but doesn’t have the time to enjoy it if he did. A few years later, he honours his pledge and buys a large estate on the Crown Range.

2006 A butt-naked Michael Soper of Balfour enlivens the crowd at the Glenorchy Races with a lap of honour.