Queenstown’s lost one of its characters.
Lifelong local Peter Fleming, who died from a heart attack, aged 68, on December 28, stood out not only for his prominent moustache and stature, but for his strong, even vehement, opinions on both local and broader issues.
A prominent landlord, he owned the ‘top of The Mall’ building – inherited from his parents Cherry and Reg – till selling it last year.
In latter years he co-owned it with long-time friend Guenther Raedler who, in a speech read out at last Friday’s funeral, called him “a passionate Queenstowner who thought outside the box and was interested in the big picture”.
“Civic matters were very important to him, and he was generous with his time for what he considered a good cause.”
Those causes included fighting to restrict downtown outdoor bar noise after 10pm, winning a landmark Environment Court case alongside former mayor Warren Cooper and then-Eichardt’s Private Hotel boss Victoria Shaw.
He also campaigned against helicopter activity at Bob’s Peak, Arthurs Point and Coronet Peak.
Speaking at the funeral, former Queenstowner Denzil Palmer said “applicants would have surely dreaded seeing Fleming & Associates’ appearing as an opposing submission against them, as they would know they had a real fight on their hands”.
Born in Queenstown, Fleming spent his first seven or eight years in Glenorchy, before the road was built.
After his family moved back to Queenstown in he was educated locally before a final year at Otago Boys’.
One of his early jobs was as a barman at Skyline Queenstown, while he also briefly managed a local fine glass and china shop Auckland, where he developed a ski pin business, and Sydney.
His pastimes included yachting and skiing, but his main interest was playing the sharemarket striking gold with Aussie mining shares, in particular.
He had a good eye for design, and designed a neat bird feeder at his Hobart Street house for tuis.
Palmer added: “Quite apart from his avian friends, he was also generous with his human friends, helping where he could and being supportive.”
Never married, he’s survived by his sister Rosemary, his late brother Mike’s wife Sandy and his nieces Peita and Gaby.