Tom Patterson was born in Waimate and was brought up on a farm which was owned by his grandfather, the late Peter Byrnes in Morven, South Canterbury.
Nonie Ward, together with her husband Ted Ward, first became involved in the hotel industry in 1939 when they leased the Ormond Hotel which they operated until 1942. In 1942, they leased the Matawai Hotel in Gisborne which they operated until 1953 before moving to Christchurch.
In 1952, after being sold by the Bank of New Zealand, Tom and his family moved from Waimate to Opawa, Christchurch, owning and operating the Opawa Terminus for three years.
After the death of her husband, Nonie Ward came to Christchurch with her family in 1953 and purchased the Stonehurst Hotel in Gloucester Street. She successfully operated the Stonehurst Hotel for the next twelve years. It was during this time that Nonie Ward’s daughter Norah, first met Tom Patterson.
In 1955, Tom's family bought an old monastery, originally built by the Bonnington family in Woolston which they converted into five flats. During the next three and a half years, Tom worked at Ballantynes as a Trainee Buyer.
Tom's family then purchased the Milky Way Quick Lunch in High Street, Christchurch, which was one of the top lunch bars in town. During that time, High Street had the second highest foot count in New Zealand. During the time at the Milky Way, Tom married Norah Ward, in 1966.
In 1971, together with the Ward Family, Tom Patterson started the " Commodore Hotel." Michael Ward and Tom Patterson are Business partners
The Commodore Hotel was officially opened on Christmas Day with the Kowhai Wing consisting of 24 rooms.
The Rimu Wing was opened, building 16 rooms in time for the 1974 Commonwealth Games, bringing up the room count to a total of 40 rooms.
In 1977, another 26 rooms were added to the Kowhai Wing. The Commodore Hotel now had 66 rooms.
In 1979, The New Zealand Institute of Management Advanced management programme held their first conference at the Commodore, marking the beginning of conferences at the Commodore.
Conference facilities and new Reception area were built.
20 rooms were added to the Rimu Wing bringing up the number of rooms to 86.
Totara Wing was opened with 20 rooms furthering the increase in the number of rooms to 106.
After years of research and planning, the Indoor Swimming Pool was opened in 1991. Also added to the Leisure facilities were a Sauna and Gymnasium.
10 five star Business level rooms were opened in the Totara Wing. The Commodore now had 116 rooms.
20 five star Business Level rooms were opened in the Rimu Wing increasing the room count to 136.
20 five star Business level rooms were added in the new Matai Wing, the first new hotel rooms to open in Christchurch after the devastating 2011 Earthquakes, giving the Commodore a total of 156 rooms.
The Commodore began trading independently under the name Commodore Airport Hotel, after the conclusion of an 18 year franchise association with Millennium Hotels.
Part owners of the Commodore Hotel, Michael, Ken and Thomas Patterson purchase the 19-room Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel.
The Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel is modern and matches the standard of the Commodore's Business Level making it an ideal extension of the Commodore.
The Commodore opened their new outdoor sports facility which includes a tennis court, basketball half court and a golf driving range.
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