By PHILIP CHANDLER
Till his mid-90s, Jack McPherson had never had any links to Wakatipu High School.
Now, however, the retired farmer’s become one of the school’s biggest benefactors, thanks to a $100,000 donation to the WHS Foundation.
Specifically, it’s supporting WHS’s outdoor education programme, and contributing to buying two vans to take students on extracurricular activities.
Jack, who recently moved to a Cromwell retirement home, farmed in Northern Southland before retiring to Queenstown about 30 years ago.
He used to walk up Queenstown Hill every morning, and walked the Routeburn Track each year, in a day, to measure his fitness.
His niece, Jude Rillstone, says his donation was born of his love for the outdoors, which he’s wanting students to share, and for Queenstown.
‘‘It might inspire other people, mightn’t it?’’
The donation’s timely as the foundation had committed to support a shortfall in outdoor education funding for the school’s junior camps.
Foundation chairman Wayne Foley says: “We are incredibly grateful for Jack’s sponsorship of the outdoor education programme at Wakatipu High School and contribution to the purchase of two vans.
“His gift will enable hundreds of students to experience and be inspired by our unique Whakatipu environment.”
The school took delivery of the first van last Friday, with the second due in September.