Three lost on Wakatipu’s black Friday

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Diane Hood 

Diane Hood, who passed away at 71, had a close association with Wakatipu High all her adult life. 

Joining the then Queenstown District High School in 1963, she rose up the teaching ranks to become assistant principal. 

She was particularly involved with Year 7 and 8 students, teaching subjects including English, social studies, art and music. 

After retiring in 2000 she returned to the school as a relief teacher and more recently to supervise students’ exams as Wakatipu High’s exam centre manager. 

Assistant principal Pauline Lawrence says Diane showed huge dedication to the school and was highly respected by staff and students. 

“She was involved in all parts of school life – a particular passion was netball, and she coached/managed a large number of teams over the years.” 

Former students have affection and respect for her, friend Dot Norris says. 

Outside school she was active in local women’s service group Altrusa. 

Married to fifth-generation local Ken Hood, she was a dedicated mother and grandmother. 

Jens Aggerholm

Larger-than-life character Jens Aggerholm, who died last Friday, owned Aggy’s Shack on Queenstown Bay for the past 10 years. 

His devoted fish and chips customers included celebrated English actor Sir Ian McKellen. 

Danish-born Aggerholm formerly worked as a beef slaughterman in Invercargill freezing works and owned takeaways down south and in Wanaka and Cromwell before moving to Queenstown. 

He had an eel quota on local waters and told Mountain Scene in 2005: “Wakatipu eels aren’t very easy to catch, they’re slippery for sure, but they’re clean-tasting.” 

Claire Pickup, who worked at Aggy’s Shack for a summer, says he was always dispensing advice like ‘work smarter, not harder’ – “like how the shack was built on a wee angle so he could hose it out and the water would just drain away by itself”. 

“He’d come into the [former] Dux and get his two pints at the end of his day, have a smoke and chat away to anyone – even if you couldn’t understand him properly, you got the gist of what he was laughing about.” 

Max McDermid 

The steep 15km Miners Trail, ending in Arrowtown, has been part of the Motatapu off-road sports event for the past five years. 

Each year the oldest competitor has been Max McDermid, who died at 86 last Friday. 

The Korean War veteran – who moved to Arrowtown in the late ’80s and worked as a rural delivery postie before retiring – was a prolific walker of Tobin’s Track, especially. 

“Some days I feel very old so I go to Dr Tobin sick and come back feeling great,” he told Mountain Scene in 2010. 

“You’ve got to have a challenge at my age, you’ve got to get up in the morning and get going.” 

Last year after walking the Miners Trail with councillor Lex Perkins, 11 years his junior, he quipped: “I’m starting to run out of mates – I’ve got to do it with these young farts now.” 

Last year he met then-Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she laid a wreath at the Queenstown Memorial Gates – he reminded her he’d bantered with her two years earlier at an Anzac Day service in Seoul, Korea.