By PHILIP CHANDLER
Time’s been called on a Queenstown hospitality legend.
Welsh-born Eileen Todd, who died late last month, aged 89, came to Queenstown in the mid-’60s with her Scottish husband Jock, who’d flown with the Royal New Zealand Air Force No.75 Squadron in World War II.
In ’68, they took over the historic Arthurs Point Pub, since demolished, which they ran for nine years.
Eileen used to serve a famous ‘hot toddy’ to hundreds of skiers coming down from Coronet Peak.
She later leased Hotel Wakatipu, now Absoloot Hostel QT, by the waterfront, and in the mid-’80s, with Tony Robertson, opened the resort’s first Japanese restaurant, Minami Jujisei.
Jock, who was about 10 years her senior, died in ’93.
Eileen then developed, and operated, Glenorchy’s Glen-Roydon Lodge (nowadays the closed-down Bold Peak Lodge) with backing from a Kiwi air crew mate of Jock’s, the late Sir Roy McKenzie.
‘‘All my business friends in Queenstown said to me, ‘what the hell are you going to Glenorchy for?’, ’cos the road wasn’t sealed for quite a number of years,’’ she told Mountain Scene five years ago.
‘‘I worked for 13 years in Glenorchy without any pay but it was made up when we sold it.’’
Eileen initially retired at the head of the lake, but returned to Queenstown after a heart attack in 2014.
As a ‘leapling’, born February 29, she only officially celebrated her birthday every four years.
She and Jock had five children — Ian, the late Jimmy, Alan, Johnny and Ngaire.
Ian calls his mum ‘‘a bloody good old bird who wouldn’t sit down, one of those people that like leading from the front’’.
Her ashes will be put under ‘Jock’s tree’ on Ian’s farm — an oak that was planted after Jock died.
Her life will be celebrated on February 26, ahead of when she’d have turned 90 — not that her birthday features on next year’s calendar.