State of old buildings inspires trio

Val McMillan signs a copy of the book on old buildings of the South she  co-wrote  with David and...
Val McMillan signs a copy of the book on old buildings of the South she co-wrote with David and Rita Teele. The book will be launched on Wednesday. Photo supplied.
Southern New Zealand's old buildings are "fading fast" according to three Arrowtown residents who have preserved photographs and stories in a self-published book.

"Fading Fast - Images of New Zealand's rural south" was the work of David Teele, Rita Teele and Val McMillan, who, after taking numerous photos, realised the amount of history they had uncovered.

"The inspiration was through photos we had taken and people we had met and it was a shame not to share them," she said.

Mr Teele said New Zealand's history was so young that people often did not realise it was history.

He explained that a disused Arthur's Point pub "just disappeared" after they photographed it and began to uncover its history.

"Everybody has a story about what happened in Arthur's Point pub and now it's closed up."

The book features some well-known buildings in Queenstown, such as the airport.

The area was once used as a racecourse, and the book tells how the grandstand and betting window were incorporated into new airport buildings.

In order to put stories to photos, the New Zealander in the trio, Mrs McMillan, called upon local knowledge to muster up contacts.

"Val is the intelligence officer," Mr Teele said.

"Only with Val's help could we find the ice-skating club in Garston."

In terms of the state of New Zealand's old buildings, Mrs Teele said she was pleased some towns had restored their old buildings, such as those on the rail trail.

Mr and Mrs Teele, and Mrs McMillan will launch the book at the Arrowtown library on Wednesday, at 4pm.


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