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Show book released for 150th Show

Monday 12 November 2012
For immediate release

Show book released for 150th Show

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, a commemorative book charting the history of the Association and annual Show has been released in time for the 150th Canterbury A&P Show.

The 224-page When Country Comes to Town hard cover book looks at the evolution of the Canterbury A&P Association, the notable citizens and hardworking families who have sustained and nurtured it through the highs and lows of its history, and the changing nature of the annual Canterbury A&P Show, which is the showcase of the farming industry nationwide.

“While the history of the Canterbury A&P Association is dated formally from January 1863, its roots reach back to before the Canterbury pilgrims even set foot on Canterbury soil” added Canterbury A&P Association President Richard Lemon.

Christchurch journalist and author Rosa Shiels who was commissioned to write the book, has been working on the project since 2010.

“When I first heard mention of this book project, the timeline for its realisation was a good 24 months. Extreme geographic events in Christchurch soon overturned that optimism, with libraries and heritage departments left in ruins, resources rendered temporarily or permanently inaccessible due to the quakes” commented Shiels.

Born in Dunedin and raised in Canterbury, Rosa Shiels left Christchurch in the early ‘70s and toured Australia and New Zealand in the cast of Harry M Miller’s Australian productions of Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. Since the mid ‘70s, while continuing to perform sporadically, she has worked as a journalist on both sides of the Tasman, from Vogue in Sydney to The Press in Christchurch, editing, sub-editing, illustrating and writing on diverse topics, from fine arts and music to interiors, book, travel, health, cuisine and the environment.

“In writing this book, I, an urban-dweller through and through, have been privileged to meet many of the people who run the Canterbury A&P Association and the Show. These are people with calloused hands and wide-open smiles, who gave their time freely to express what the Association means to them and tell me some of their own families’ tall tales and histories. Through them I now have a much deeper appreciation for this province and the part that farmers have played in its development.

The Canterbury A&P Association is a not-for-profit organisation that runs on membership, the goodwill and financial support of various sponsors and the proceeds of its annual A&P Show. Long may it continue to be the celebratory occasion when country comes to town” added Shiels.

When Country Comes to Town is being published by The Caxton Press, an award winning Christchurch-owned business that celebrated its own 75th anniversary in 2010.

When Country Comes to Town is available to purchase for $70 from the Canterbury A&P Association. Books can be purchased at the 2012 Canterbury A&P Show.


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