What would a farming fair be without the traditional sack race?

Drawing to a close

by Andy Bryenton

The month-long celebration of the 125th-anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand and a Hororata man’s pivotal role in that came to a fitting finale Labour Weekend with a specially themed annual Hororata Parish Spring Fair.

Front and centre for much of the fair was the commemoration of a local farmer and Selwyn MP, Sir John Hall, who in the years leading up to the 1893 signing of the Electoral Act worked tirelessly with suffragist leader, Kate Sheppard, to give women the right to vote.

It was his final act before leaving parliament.

The fair’s organising committee chair, Lucy Cookson, said it was great to be part of the suffrage celebrations.

“It added a new twist to the fair and showcased our community,” she said.

During the fair, well-known storyteller, Margaret Copland along with historians Colin Wilson and Kate Foster told Sir John Hall’s story. A special moment came with the reading of the speech he gave in parliament supporting the right to vote.

Sir John’s work was also honoured with a display and movie presented by the Homebush Historical Society.

Lucy Goodson said the fair attracted a large crowd, and, like most farming community fairs, there was plenty to see and do.

“The country auction is always a feature of the event. The addition of the Agri-Art where local blokes showed their number eight wire ingenuity in creating garden art was a highlight of the day,” she said.

“It is a wonderful day for our community to come together and welcome others to enjoy a day in the country.

“As always, it takes a big team to make these events happen, and thanks to all the committee, stallholders, performers and individuals who supported the event,” Lucy said.