Central Rail Trail Trust Daphne Hull, of Alexandra, was awarded the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to tourism and recreation by the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy at an investiture ceremony at Larnach Castle in Dunedin recently.
Chairwoman of the trust from 2003 to 2012, Mrs Hull facilitated economic stimulation for small towns situated on the trail route. More than $2 million was raised under Mrs Hull’s leadership for upgrading bridges, culverts and surfaces, the addition of toilets and shelters along the trail and the development of promotional materials. She directed the international promotion of the trail, which has been internationally recognised as a tourist attraction by the Parks Forum, an international parks industry organisation.
She remains a Trustee of the Rail Trail Trust and has been the Trust’s representative for related projects that include the restoration of the Clyde Railway Station and work with the Central Arts Society on the annual Arts on the Trail event.
She was a key driver of the construction of an underpass to extend the Trail from the Railhead building under the state highway to the Clyde township, which was opened in 2016.