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Scarves on Statues – William Gilbert Rees

[Previous instalments in the ‘Scarves on Statues’ series can be found here]

William Gilbert Rees is known as the founding father of Queenstown, the most beautiful town in New Zealand hands down. Sitting on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, it’s surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountain ranges and boasts practically every kind of adventure tourism enjoyed by intrepid travellers the world over.

While Rees was the first European to fully appreciate the beauty of the area and begin to settle it by establishing a sheep station, Maori had long before journeyed regularly into the region from the coastal areas they called home to gather sacred greenstone (jade).

They have a wonderful legend to explain why the lake, oddly for a body of fresh water, rises and falls regularly almost as though it’s tidal. They believed that back in the days when the lake was a glacier, it was inhabited by a mighty giant who one day abducted the daughter of a local chief. The chief sent a raiding party to rescue her and the mission was accomplished by covering the giant with dry branches while he slept and setting them alight. The giant burned to death, the glacier melted to form the lake and the giant’s heart sank to the bottom where it still beats today, causing the lake to rise and fall.

A heart that big can only belong to one football club.

Rees

Categories: Scarves on Statues

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

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