Ian Chamberlain is the owner of Waimate Outdoors, and has spent much of his life in Waimate. Some could even consider him part of the furniture. Tyson Young sits down for a chat with him.
Q Where do you hail from originally, Ian?
I’m a Waimate man. I grew up and have lived here for most of my life.
Q How long have you owned the Waimate Outdoors store?
I’ve owned the business for what will be coming up 13 years in July.
Q Where did you work before you took over the business?
A large part of my working life was spent at the Pukeuri freezing works. I lived in Oamaru and worked at the plant for about 28 years.
Q Transitioning from a freezing worker to a store owner is quite a leap. What made you want to change lifestyles?
It got to the point where I just wanted a change in direction. When I first started out, this place used to be a garden shop and a bicycle shop, which was pretty hard work. Later down the track, the two businesses merged into one. I now have stock for all the seasons – hunting, fishing, gardening, and biking.
Q What is it about Waimate that you enjoy the most?
It’s just a great wee town. It’s got great people and we’re in the middle of the South Island. You can get to Christchurch, the lakes, you name it. We’ve just got everything at our doorstep here without the hustle and bustle.
Q If you could have a beer with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Well, you’ve got me there. I’d probably have a beer with Robin Hood because, well, look at his lifestyle – he hunts, fishes, and he gets the wild maidens, ha ha.
Q If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would be the first thing you’d do and why?
If I was the Prime Minister, I’d make Mondays a public holiday for all the workers across the country.