By PHILIP CHANDLER
A former Arrowtowner who died last month, at 83, is being remembered as a jovial, community-minded character, retailer, vintage car restorer and devoted family man.
Married to Rosemary for 59 years, Colin Jack, who latterly lived in North Otago, was a fourth-generation local.
His great-grandfather, who’d come from Cornwall, England, managed a gold mine at Bullendale, near Skippers, in the 1870s.
In the 1970s/’80s, Colin ran the Lake County Press in premises he built in Arrowtown’s Buckingham Street.
He’d make up colourful headlines for people on a vintage printing press.
He later drove for the first local wine tour and started 45 South Tours.
David Clarke, director of Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum, says he was ‘‘one of those larger-than-life characters — he was very genuine, likeable and enthusiastic, and a great
Colin served a term on the former Arrowtown Borough Council, but his biggest community involvement was with Queenstown’s Rotary club, which he served as president and which honoured him with a prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship.
Other community roles included the local scout movement, Arrowtown Returned and Services’ Association and co-founding Queenstown’s Probus club.
His son Wayne says, ‘‘I used to joke, if he put half that energy into some of the businesses he had, he would have been rolling in it’’.
Colin also restored many vintage cars and bikes and was a founding member of New Zealand’s Mercedes Benz club.
His pride and joy was a 1922 Jewett racing car that broke the Auckland to Wellington speed
record in 1923, clocking 14 hours, 58 minutes on often dodgy stretches.
He’d found it deteriorating under a tree at Butel Farm (now Millbrook Resort), near Arrowtown, in ‘64 — it had latterly been used as a rabbit-poisoning truck.
Colin lovingly restored it — it’s the only car of its year and model left in the world — and displayed it at vintage car rallies.
Dubai-based Wayne says his dad later sold it, ‘‘but I managed to twist [the buyer’s] arm and bought it back for a reasonable price’’.
Latterly it’s been exhibited at Cromwell’s Highlands Motorsport Park museum and is now in
‘‘When back I’ll drive it through to dad’s place and put it in his garage,’’ Wayne says.
‘‘It’s a real handful to drive but it’s quite cool to still have it.’’
Colin’s involvement with vintage cars also extended to making enamel badges for vintage car clubs worldwide.
He’s survived by his wife, Rosemary, children Tania and Wayne and six grandchildren.