Friday, July 08, 2016

The launch of The Snow Farmer ignites Cardrona’s spirit of fun

John and Mary Lee (below right) have been at the heart of life in Cardrona for decades, establishing a world famous ski facility and saving the iconic Cardrona Hotel from dereliction. The importance of community has been integral to the Lees’ vision, their activities and adventures, significantly underpinning the local economy. Small wonder then, that the local community should gather in force to celebrate the launch of The Snow Farmer, penned by Otago Daily Times agribusiness reporter Sally Rae, at two very special events.

The first and official book launch was held at the Cardrona Alpine Resort, which the Lees hosted along with Paper Plus Wanaka. The infectious happiness of the Cardrona staff set the perfect scene, with Sally remarking that “it was like watching the characters in the book come to life.” The Lees neighbour Ed Taylor MC’d, skilfully recounting past incidents and keeping everything humming along nicely. Friend Shaun Gilbertson rather colourfully related past tales and Lyall Cocks spoke on behalf of the local council, praising John’s efforts and foresight. John responded with gratitude to Sally Rae and photographer Stephen Jaquiery for so expertly telling and illustrating his life story. John said that they were wonderful to work with and have put life into the story. He also thanks everyone who gave their time to tell their story and helped to enhance the book.

The second event to mark publication was held a few days later at the Cardrona Distillery which, as you might expect, turned into a very relaxed and convivial afternoon of cocktails and canapes! Many locals and folk from Wanaka came along to celebrate, buy a book and enjoy a chat with John. It was wonderful that people who felt connected with the story could be part of the afternoon. Paper Plus Wanaka very generously donated 20 precent of book sales to the Cardrona Heritage Trust, which will be used to create the Cardrona Story in the Distillery for visitors to enjoy in future years. Thanks to Paper Plus Wanaka and the support of the local community, The Snow Farmer has shot straight into the #4 spot for NZ non-fiction in this week’s Nielsen bestsellers list.

If you want to hear more about the Lees story, have a listen to their fun and lively interview with Kim Hill from last Saturday:
My thanks to publicist Sarah Thornton for this report.

Below: Chris,Sheryl & Kaye

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