TEKAPO SKI CLUB HISTORY
A group of Mackenzie Young Farmers began assessing snow conditions in their area, safety, access and run-holder co-operation, with a view to establishing a ski field.
Round Hill on Richmond Station was chosen and plans for an access road were in hand.
Local land owners gave generous use of their bulldozers and trucks in forming the road. Debentures were secured, a bank account opened and Club Rules established.
The Tekapo Ski Club Incorporated was founded on 25 May 1961.
A rope tow was installed and skiing began on the newly formed Tekapo Ski Field
The first AGM of the Tekapo Ski Club Incorporated was held in the Lake Tekapo Guild Hall on 30 May 1962.
Don Waters was appointed President, Bruce Scott Secretary and Dave Allan first Club Captain. Trevor Wade of Fairlie made 40 pairs of wooden skis for hire – painted dark blue with no metal edges.
The Club erected an “A” frame for accommodation on the slopes, again with monies raised locally, much donated material and hours of volunteer effort and borrowing of equipment
Richmond Station, on whose land the ski field was developed, was bought by Karl Burtscher, an Austrian ski instructor, and his wife Audrey.
They further developed the ski field and it became a very popular commercial venture with much improved runs and facilities. The Club “A” frame, however, remained and was often filled to overflowing and membership grew, largely with local, South Canterbury and Canterbury skiers.
In the 1970‘s and 80’s, numerous children from the Timaru and Christchurch areas joined to sign up for the famous ski weeks in the school holidays.
Hundreds were taught to ski and joined in the fun days and Club races, some going on to become instructors and many returning now with their children.
There were numerous working bees, always maintaining and improving the club facility.
The Club's “A” frame facility was lost in an avalanche, fortunately no one was in the building at the time of the avalanche
The Tekapo Ski Field closed for a period of 11 years.
To take up insurance monies from the loss of the Club's “A” frame it was decided to build again. Don & Win Malcolm and Noel & Tui Langton were in charge of purchasing a section at Albert Town, near Wanaka. Members, including the Malcolms, Langtons and Ferg Lord were heavily involved with the building. The Lodge was opened debt free for the 1992 ski season. A two bedroom house was later added to the site to house on-site supervisors, who opened the lodge to casual bookings.
The Albert Town Lodge was upgraded and the house on site was extended.
With few Club members using the lodge, it was made available to school and other groups, such as the Otago Disabled Skiers, Special Olympics group and the Foundation for the Blind.
The ski area was reopened and renamed Roundhill Ski Area by the next generation of the Burtscher & Rieder family.
There is new runs, snow making and a wonderful enthusiasm to carry on the legacy of the Mackenzie Young Farmers and Karl & Audrey Burtscher
2006 - 2010
During the ski seasons of 2006 & 2007 the Club rented two motel type units in the Tekapo township for our members’ use and to gauge the potential interest of returning to Tekapo.
In 2007, the accommodation option at Tekapo was supported by several members.
Club members have re-joined and come back to ski, including some third generation skiers of the founding member families.
The club’s Fun Day and Ski Races have been started again with great support from Roundhill Ski Area.
2010 - 2019
Through four presidents, over 20 different committee members from all areas and interests, the committee searched for the best possible options for the Club. Many options were vigorously pursued, which included the eventual sale of the Albert Town Lodge in April 2015 and the purchase of a large section in Lake Tekapo in December 2015.
This has meant the Ski Club would re-establish its Lake Tekapo base, fostering and training young skiers, assisting older and disabled skiers on a suitable and friendly field and organising year round Club events.
2020 onwards to the future
In November 2020 the brand new 24 bed Tekapo Ski Club Retreat sited in the Lake Tekapo township was finally completed.
A huge thank you to our Ski Club Building committee of Elaine, Gendie, Lindsay & Suvi who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the project was completed.
They had a common goal on behalf of the club & they are happy to report that not once did they have an argument!
With a delay for various reasons in getting the building started - it meant we secured the services of Henderson Building Ltd from Timaru who were wonderful to work alongside to achieve our goal.
A huge thank you to Ken, Shane & their team.
The Retreat will be open in early December 2020 for anyone to book - we are open to everyone & look forward to many years of fun & laughter together being back in Lake Tekapo.