10 months ago

Selwyn Times: September 27, 2016

8 Tuesday

8 Tuesday September 27 2016 SELWYN TIMES Our People Rural show’s first female president It’s taken 146 years, but the Ellesmere A&P Show now has its first woman president – Paula McIlraith. She spoke to Tom Doudney about her long involvement with the show, an unfortunate accident she had recently and how she met her husband through the show 47 years ago. So I hear you’re the first female president the show has had? Yes, and I’ll be the first one on crutches, too, because I’ve just ruptured my Achilles tendon – so it will be a double first. That’s no good! Yes, it’s a real pain because I’m not allowed to bear weight on it at all. It sounds quite painful – how did you do that? Oh, I just jumped over a ditch. But that’s life, you’ve got to get on with it. After watching the Paralympics, you think ‘I’ve got nothing to moan about.’ What part of Selwyn do you live in? Past Southbridge, right down on the coast. What sort of farm have you got there? We are mainly cropping but we run two sheep studs as well. Have you been there for a while? Well, I’ve been there for 45 years but the family started there in 1878. Do you know how many generations that would have been? Our son will be the fifth generation. Has your family had quite a long association with the Ellesmere A&P Show then? My husband Alisdair’s grandfather was on the committee and my parents had a Jersey stud and used to show cows and bulls. That’s probably why I got into showing as a kid and it has gone on from there. Was that quite a big deal to you when you were young? Yes, I just really enjoyed it. Have you had a lot of involvement with the organising committees before now? Yes, I have been on the committee since about 1997. Is being the show’s first female president important to SHOW FIRST: Paula McIlraith has been elected president of the Ellesmere A&P Show. you? I think it’s important for women – whether it is me or someone else wouldn’t matter. I was also the first woman to go on the committee. So you’re a bit of a trendsetter or a trailblazer then? Yes (laughs). There are more women on the committee now, so that’s good. What have you done outside of farming? I’ve played a lot of netball and played representative netball for Ellesmere, which is no longer around. I was on the executive of the Selwyn Netball Centre and am a life member. When did you become president and has it been much of a step up? In March. It’s quite busy – so far this year we have run a dairy heifer competition, a ewe hogget competition, we had a dog show and a winter feed competition. So it’s not all just about building up to the show, you have a whole bunch of events through the year to organise? Yes. What do you get out of it? I just enjoy it and I think it’s a great community day. You’ve been involved with showing sheep, cattle and horses – which of those animals do you think has the most personality? Horses, of course! But sheep are not dumb. Everybody thinks sheep are dumb but they definitely aren’t. I guess you’re going to be on crutches for a while – how is it going to be at the show? I’ve got another six to eight weeks of non-weight bearing in a moon boot. It’s going to be awkward. It’s muddy down there isn’t it? It’ll be a bit of a task to get around the place I imagine? I think John Deere are going to supply me with a Gator (utility vehicle) to get round on. How did you meet your husband? At an after show party for the Ellesmere Show about 47 years ago. He has already been show president as well in about 1998. Is he sticking his nose in and giving you advice and things like that? Oh no, he is just being very helpful, especially now I am out of action helping with working bees and things like that. LOCAL BUSINESS FOCUSES ON NICHE MARKET “We’ve a beautiful new tea range with over twenty five to choose from, with our Tea bar a real focus of the business. Tea has amazing purchasing teas, teapots and teacups. The café restaurant will still open at night for private functions, for groups of fifteen health properties and is on trend, catching or more, offering set menus, cocktail Lincoln residents can enjoy high teas up with coffee sales, as people try unique functions and buffets making it a perfect and lunches at The Tea House Café and and delicious flavours.” venue for private parties, weddings and end Restaurant from 9am-5pm, Wednesdays to The Tea House is a perfect setting for a of year Christmas parties, with its unique Sundays. special occasion. Crystal chandeliers and rooms and fairy light lit marquee area. The Tea House which first opened in its plush velvet upholstery complement tea During spring and summer, The Tea House charming 1890s villa in April 2012, has served in vintage china cups with diners able will be holding special public evenings in shifted direction. They will no longer open to take home a tea themed memento by the Tea Garden with exciting guests, unique for casual evening dining, instead focussing flavours, tea inspired cocktails and on what they do well; elegant tea and jazz music. cake, breakfasts, lunches and catering for private functions. The Tea House won the top award for Tourism Excellence at the “We’re embracing what is unique 2016 Sensational Selwyn Awards, about The Tea House – an elegant, recognised for attracting hundreds beautiful social space perfect for of visitors to the district each week. taking tea (or coffee), eating divine food and enjoying good company,” explains Vanetia Bingham, owner of Bookings for The Tea House can be made on 325 7242. The Tea House. 6 Robert Street, Lincoln | Ph 03 325 7242 | Email

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday September 27 2016 9 takes the reins of Ellesmere CELEBRATING rural women will be the theme of the 146th Ellesmere A&P Show to be held on October 15. Show president Paula McIlraith said that as the first woman in the role, she wanted to acknowledge the role of women in the community over the decades. “We have some amazing women in our community who have made a difference in people’s lives,” Mrs McIlraith said. “There are those who have supported youth through education, culture and sport. And often acted unknowingly as role models to these young people.” Mrs McIlraith listed the likes of Rosaline Brown who contributed to the Ellesmere community as a kaumatua, teacher and historian, Dr Helen Dougal who practised in Leeston in the 1950s and later Dr Molly Prendergast. She also paid tribute to the contribution and effort of rural women during wartime. “My own mother, like many others, farmed the land while others ran the services allowing them in a time of necessity to prove they were capable and adaptable,” she said. “These characteristics are still THAT TIME AGAIN: Equestrian events, prized livestock and wearable arts are just some of the attractions at the Ellesmere A&P Show. ​ part of the modern day rural women.” The wearable arts parade and competition staged in the feature tent will be in keeping with this year’s theme. Exhibitors have been asked to focus on aspects of a rural woman’s life through the decades and there is an apron category. Speakers will include New Zealand women’s rowing eight coxswain Francie Turner fresh from her trip to the Rio Olympics and sculptor and artist Sharon Earl providing some insights into their lives and rural origins in the Ellesmere area. The wood chopping this year will have some extra womenonly events in both sawing and chopping. Sheep entries are up significantly for this year’s show, due to Mrs McIlraith and husband Alisdair’s strong involvement in the stud sheep industry. Their breeds, the poll dorsets and suffolks are both having feature shows attracting increased entries in these sections. The black and coloured section are also having a feature show this year. This year’s dairy section will again have good entries from registered breeders coming from as far north as Rangiora through to Methven. The shearing competition is expected to be another prime event. The speed shear will be a highlight with competitors set to shear their sheep in less than 40sec. Quarries appeal restrictions • By Georgia O’Connor-Harding and Tom Doudney TWO QUARRY operators have lodged an appeal after they were denied an application to dig deeper into the ground. In August, an application by nine quarries, called the Canterbury Aggregate Producers Group, asked to be granted permission to quarry up to 4m below the highest recorded groundwater level. It was rejected by an independent hearings panel last month. Two of those – Selwyn Quarries, now owned by Winstone Aggregates, and Isaac Construction Ltd – are appealing that decision to the Environment Court. About 500 out of 600 submissions had opposed the application and all submitters were notified of the appeal on Friday. Residents were concerned the possibility of deeper quarrying could contaminate groundwater. This was a key reason why the application was declined. The Selwyn Quarries operation is at 58 Selwyn Rd in Broadfield, while the Isaac Construction Ltd quarry is on McArthurs Rd, Mcleans Island near the airport. Style is forever Clare reilly 40 years of exhibiting. Visit Smith & Boston today This Weekend! October 1-2 Clare Reilly’s work has been described as Neo-Romantic. Her paintings are imbued with a poetic stillness and calm. Born and educated in Wellington, she has lived and worked in Christchurch since 1976 and is now a full-time artist. Her paintings celebrate survival and resilience within the natural environment. Over time she has developed a painting style that has an intensity and luminosity of colour that embraces a dream-like atmosphere. She has a close affinity with birds in the landscape, with the bird motif signifying a sense of joy in flight, and hope and renewal. “I have been fortunate to follow my love of painting and exhibiting for the last 40 years. Fortunate to still be excited to enter my studio each morning, and to be able to reach the people who enjoy my work. The support from the viewing public means so much. I take this opportunity to thank you all, for your support in whatever form it has taken.” Clare Reilly Coast Dress to impress; whatever the occasion 1 – 26 October 2016 SMITH & BOSTON Prebbleton Village | Christchurch Ph: 03 349 5646 Main Rd, Little River | 03 325 1944 |