Mountain Scene’s chief news hound Philip ‘Scoop’ Chandler has entered the annals of history.

Last Saturday night, Chandler, who turns 65 next month, was presented a Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) by the Rotary Club of Queenstown — one of only a handful of non-Rotarians, locally, to be awarded Rotary’s most prestigious honour — for his services to this community over the past 39 years.

At Queenstown Rotary’s 80th anniversary function, at Queenstown Country Club, past-president Ross Beale and his wife, Rosanna, were also presented the PHF, for their work setting up an education foundation for children in Uganda.

Other recent recipients of the award include former Wakatipu High principal — and new ski area manager for The Remarkables — Steve Hall, Bruce Boivin, Whakatipu Reforestation Trust co-founders Neill and Barbara Simpson, president-elect Gabrielle Schou, and ex-mayor Jim Boult.

Chandler was duped into attending the function, believing he was there to make an address to Queenstown Rotary members at their 80th anniversary dinner, only to find he was being honoured.

Past Rotary president Joan Kiernan says Chandler’s been an integral part of Queenstown’s community for almost 40 years, ‘‘without which, it should be noted, a sick day’’, wearing our shoe leather and hunting down stories for Scene.

‘‘As passionate and excited about the industry and the community today as he was 39 years ago, our community owes Queenstown’s chief news hound … a huge debt of gratitude for his tireless and inspirational work, and for his magnificent services to hospitality over the years,’’ Kiernan says.

A humbled and flattered Chandler — who was rendered speechless, though only momentarily — says it’s surprising because he believes he just does his job, ‘‘because I enjoy it’’.

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