Anthony John Alderson (Ant), local businessman and proprietor of the Lake Hawea Hotel, died of cardiac arrest while swimming in the Wanaka pool on August 12. The family is very grateful to the wonderful care shown to Ant in his last hour and to Damian Rewa for the blessing placed over them and the pool last week.
Over 300 mourners gathered on Monday to show their last respects at a very moving service held at the family home overlooking the lake. Ant’s wife, Kellianne, just knew the only place to hold the celebration of his very full and adventurous life was in the garden they had designed and developed along with the help of their local friends. After very moving tributes delivered by Ant and Kellianne’s three sons, Jake, Ollie and Zac, a very informative and entertaining eulogy with a recurring thread “a man before his time” was delivered by Ant’s older brother, Chris Alderson.
Ant was born in the UK and lead a very full, well-travelled and adventurous life, which included time spent in Hong Kong, Burma and 17 years living in Cambodia. During this time he ran the Foreign Correspondents Club of Cambodia (FCC) where he often entertained ambassadors, journalists and movie stars. During this period of his life, Ant was also very instrumental in the development of two hotels and ten restaurants. Tributes from across the globe have poured in expressing love and gratitude for the training, mentorship and guidance given by Ant to the many staff who worked under him.
To his family and friends, Ant will always be remembered as a very good sportsman, a great cook and a father who did everything for his family. People from all walks of life will miss this colourful, larger than life man who was very generous, funny and hospitable.
Although he was not from here, Ant considered Lake Hawea his home and was proud of Kellianne’s New Zealand heritage. He moved his young family here from Cambodia in 2009 to give his three boys a New Zealand upbringing.
He will be greatly missed.