Recognising Jim Ryan: Jim’s widow Irene, watched over by sons, from left, Shaun, Grant and Craig, was first to sit on a seat dedicated to his memory after unveiling it last Sunday

The late Jim Ryan, ‘‘a stalwart for all things Arrowtown’’, is now being remembered with a memorial bench in front of the town’s library.

The bench, which was unveiled by his widow, Irene, at a ceremony in the Library Green last Sunday, is the idea of the Arrowtown Charitable
Trust (ACT), which was formed 10 years ago.

A plaque on it states: ‘‘In loving memory of Jim Ryan who worked hard to make sure Arrowtown kept its historic, charming character.’’

Jim, who died in 2021, aged 79, ‘‘lived and breathed Arrowtown’’, former local Lakes District Museum director David Clarke said at the unveiling.

He’d unsuccessfully fought against the Arrowtown borough being amalgamated with Queenstown Lakes District Council in 1989, but was happy with concessions including some planning autonomy for the township.

Clarke says the last project he loved working on was getting, through ACT, lighting onto the main street’s heritage buildings.

Jim was also behind the town having a CCTV camera system installed as a crime prevention tool.

‘‘It seems odd we should unveil a park bench, ’cos Jim wasn’t one to sit around,’’ Clarke said.

‘‘But, we thought, where we’re going to locate it, it’s a perfect place for people to stop and linger and look at all the beauty that is Arrowtown, and it’s because of Jim, and others, that we have this protected.’’

Clarke also thanked Arrowtown Promotion & Business Association manager Nicky Busst for ‘‘pushing the [bench] project’’.

[email protected]

- Advertisement -