Friday, 28 December 2007
Alex Millar and Bruce Watson
caption : Alex Millar left and Bruce Watson right, outside their combined premises at Franz Josef where Alec has his ski plane business and Bruce a great bookshop
In the coming months I want to reflect on some of the important people in my life that have influenced me, helped me and are close driends.
Alec Millar and Bruce Watson are legends on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. I first met Alec in 1967 as a young mountaineer at Mt. Cook and then in 1971 as a daring ski plane pilot, he played a key role on a mountain rescue when I was working as a mountain guide for the Mt Cook National Park. He was one of those magnidicent men in their flying machines with the dash, daring and handle bar moustache. In the early 1990's Alex, Bruce and I worked for the Department of Conservation, Alex and I at Franz Josef Glacier and Bruce our boss in Hokitika. Bruce and Alec were then at the cutting edge of conservation and interpreting the landscape and their processes. Bruce pioneered new visitor centres at Reefton and Haast while Alec was the best living interpretor of the West Coast glaciers and their processes. We all left the Department of Conservation in the 1990's, Alec became an owner of the Mt. Cook ski plane operation, Bruce bought bookshops in Hokitika nad Franz Josef, and I went back to work for the Red Cross in Afghanistan.
In 2006, Alex and Bruce got back together at Franz Josef Glaceir township, and Bruce has a boutique nookshop in Alex's ski plane booking office.