Honour for new patron

Ashburton A&P Association stalwart, and new patron, Andrew Brown.

Ashburton A & P Association stalwart Andrew Brown has been named patron of the A& P show.

His appointment follows after the passing of former-patron Ray Colville, who died on November 25, aged 85.

Mr Brown was extremely honoured at being selected by his peers.

It’s a lifetime role that is “whatever you want to make of it”. It could involve helping with presentations or just being in support of the standing president, he said.

Mr Brown started with the association as a young steward in the sheep section in 1964.

He was around 18-years-old and a member of the former-Wakanui Young Farmers Club.

The late-Andy Begg recruited me as a steward, he said.

He has not looked back.

Wakanui Young Farmers may no longer exist, but Mr Brown’s involvement with the association has continued. He has also been a steward at the Christchurch A&P Show, which was “quite a different set up”.

“You meet a lot of good people… like-minded people who turn up in all sorts of funny places,” he said.

Andrew Brown joined the A and P Association as a teenager through the Wakanui Young Farmers Club.

He spent many years on the committee from 1974 working his way through the ranks before taking on the one-year president role in 1990. It has since changed to a two year term.

The show, which runs at the Ashburton A&P Showgrounds on the weekend following Labour Weekend, sees committee and members – including Mr Brown’s wife, Marion, crack into an almost week long working bee in preparation for their annual event.

There are fewer people on the committee now than in the past, but “it’s easier. A heck of a lot better,” he said.

“Everything gets done. A lot of people come out of the woodwork to help,” he said.

Andrew Brown is a popular face at the Ashburton Farmers Market.

Mr Brown, who is a second generation farmer at Elgin, was at the helm for the official opening of the home industries pavilion, rebuilt after being destroyed by fire. It was a 90s themed show with clothing and attire worn from the 1900s to the 90s.

“It was good show day. It didn’t rain,” he said.

“You always remember the wet ones.”

Mr Brown took over the mixed crop and sheep farm from his parents Hugh and Aileen.

He is also a potato grower and a regular at the Ashburton Farmers Market.

He joined the association and followed in the footsteps of his fore-fathers; his grandfather, also called Andrew, was president in 1924/25, and his father, Hugh, was on the committee in the mid-1930s.

His daughter, Liz, since returning to Ashburton, is also following in his footsteps and is secretary of the sheep section.