It is important we reflect on the monumental contribution Sir Eion Edgar has made to the Queenstown Trails Trust following his recent passing in June 2021.
As our founding patron, former trustee, donor and dear friend, Eion leaves an inspirational legacy, reminding us that with time, energy, passion, skill and connections, the world is truly your oyster. His business acumen and wisdom was second to none.
Eion has been involved with the Queenstown Trails Trust since the very start and generously gifted a huge amount of his time to the Trust, along with his family being one of the most significant financial contributors to our trails, both in the basin and beyond. The Trails Trust was very close to his heart.
As friends of the Trust, many of you won’t know Eion was in regular attendance at our board meetings even after his medical diagnosis and continued coming whilst he was being treated to the very end. When he turned up at the first meeting after his diagnosis, it gave me a fright to see him there knowing his health was getting worse. With his infectious grin, he said “this little bugger is in for a hell of a fight, fella”. It really was a true testament to his character, as a genuine pillar of our community and the Queenstown Trails Trust. “Easy to give money, not so easy to give time”, as he would say.
During the past few weeks, I’ve thought a lot, as have the other trustees, about how much of what makes the trails so special can be attributed to the pioneers of this fantastic charitable organisation like Eion. There are obvious pieces of hard infrastructure such as the stunning Edgar bridge across the Arrow River section of the trail to remind us of Eion and his family’s massive contributions but also the subtle things like the sculptures around Kelvin Heights remind me of Eion. A truly special part of our trail history and character has been shaped by this man and his family, which we will never ever forget.
In Eion’s final days we received news of the Arrowtown to Arthur’s Point and Tuckers Beach Trail’s successful resource consent being granted, the grin and a double thumbs up and a “fantastic, keep going” was the message he delivered in response to the news.
The final piece to this tribute to the great man, he would have wanted me to say, is Eion was not impressed with people with “short hands and long pockets”, especially those who used the trail network but never donated to the Trust. This was reflected in his wishes for donations to be made to the Queenstown Trails Trust in lieu of flowers. Typical Eion, continuing to give, even once he had gone.
Rest in Peace, Eion. I am sure there will be plentiful trails in the place you now reside and you will have already made hundreds of new friends.
Chairman of the Queenstown Trails Trust