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A&P Show Stalwart Receives Honor

A&P Show Stalwart Receives Honor


Malcolm McKerrow, CEO of the Whangarei A&P Society has been recognized by the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand (RAS) for his contribution to the Whangarei Agricultural & Pastoral Society and to the wider, national A&P Show movement.

Presented at the Royal Agricultural Society conference in Wellington at the end of June, Mr McKerrow received Honorary Life Membership to the RAS – a prestigious accolade selectively One of only 23 recipients nationwide since the membership category was established in 1970, the award recognizes Mr McKerrow’s contribution to Whangarei and Northland as well as his involvement as an Executive member and Treasurer of the RAS nationally – roles he held for nine and seven years respectively.

The Award is recognition of the passion and the input Mr McKerrow had across many facets of the business. When asked about his involvement, Mr McKerrow advised that his contribution was made with the interests of grass root members (some 100 A&P Associations from Kaitaia to Invercargill) at the forefront and he was most proud of this.

“I was fortunate to be able to consult with the New Zealand wide A&P membership and to collect feedback from them to convey to the RAS Executive. As a result of that consultation process and the collection of data from meetings held throughout New Zealand, a national Task Force was set up, of which I became Chairman. The aim of the Task Force was to provide recommendations to the Executive and a blue-print for the future direction of the RAS. The Task Force recommendations were presented in 2010 and the outcomes continue to be a work in progress for the organisation today,” Mr McKerrow said.

Not afraid to bring about change, Mr McKerrow started with the Whangarei A&P Society just two weeks out from the 1987 Winter Exhibition, one of two events run by the Society at that time.

Immediately following the successful conclusion of his first Winter Show, Malcolm began work on the Summer Show and the relocation from its then inner city site at Kensington, to the new 64 hectare site west of the city now known as Barge Showgrounds. The first show held at Barge Showgrounds was in 1991, just four years after Malcolm joined the Society.

Another milestone for the Society under Mr McKerrow’s successful guidance was the final Winter Exhibition in 1995 and the sale of the building which allowed the Society to invest in other commercial ventures and to secure their long term financial future. This included the establishment of the Barge Show Grounds Events Centre now one of Whangarei’s top function centres and popular wedding venues and the purchase and management of other commercial

Although in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Whangarei A&P Society was a much smaller organisation than it is today, even then it held the largest Show in the North and the two annual events - the Summer Show and the Winter Exhibition - both played an important a part of the fabric of life in During the presentation of the Honorary Life Membership, it was noted that under Mr McKerrow’s stewardship the Society had gone from strength to strength maximising the legacy built over the years by Whangarei A&P Society forebears. Today the A&P Society has become a multimillion dollar organisation with a range of activities under its auspices.

Ends

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