Former local body councillor Taylor Reed outside his
Arrowtown home last week after receiving an honorary life
membership from the Arrowtown Village Association last
month. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
A stalwart of the Arrowtown community is how many
describe former local councillor Taylor Reed and this week I
found out why.
Mr Reed (79) was last month made an honorary life member of
the Arrowtown Village Association for his contribution to the
community - the first to receive that honour.
Arriving at Mr Reed's home it is clear this is not the first
award he has gained for being a community man.
There are at least eight awards on the lounge wall including:
three from the Queenstown Lakes District Council, two from
Lions International, an Autumn Festival certificate, an
Arrowtown Bowling Club life membership, and, perhaps the most
impressive, the shiny silver plate from the Arrowtown Curling
This man is used to being in the limelight, but it does not
alter his ego.
"I felt other people were more deserving than me."
Queenstown Lakes district councillor for the Arrowtown ward
Lex Perkins said Mr Reed had been a "main backbone of the
whole of Arrowtown" and this was just a small token of the
Mr Perkins admitted he still approached the former local
councillor for opinions from time to time because "he's
"He is a great stalwart of all of the Arrowtown community
really ... He has so much knowledge of the history and can
explain from that point of view. Eighty percent of Arrowtown
is full of newcomers like myself."
Mr Reed was born in Alexandra in 1933 and has lived in
Arrowtown since, with an exception of four and a-half years
in Southland, which he admits was a huge test because of the
During those 70-odd years he has seen the change from the old
kerosene street light system, when Paddy McBride with his
ladder would light them with for 365 days of the year, to the
introduction of electricity in 1945.
During Labour Weekend, Mr Reed was a guest speaker for the
Arrow Gold 150 celebrations and said the biggest change had
been the rise in population of the historic gold-mining
In 1937, the recorded population was only 147. Today, it has
leapt to 2500, according to 2006 census estimations.
Although he is all for the expansion to date, Mr Reed put his
vote to keeping Arrowtown's boundary as it is and "preserving
This is why he has spent 27 years on the Lakes District
Museum board, of which he is chairman, and said it was his
biggest priority now.
His local council contributions have included 15 years of
service on the Arrowtown Borough Council, six years as deputy
mayor, and nine years on the QLDC before he stood down at age
He has been made a life member of the bowling club and had an
great involvement with the RSA and the Lakes District Museum.
"That's what I do, I tend to grip on to things," he said
about his longevity in community groups.
Mr Reed quit the Arrowtown Village Association five years ago
after starting with it on day one, 22 years ago.