■ REVIEW: One Hundred Summers
Celebrating the wonder of ‘show day’

In what is a deceptively compact little book, former Southland Times farming reporter John Cutt packed in a wealth of history and information that covers 100 years of the Winton A & P Association.

Subtitled ‘‘celebrating the achievements of the Winton A&P Association’’, the book is also a celebration of the people who have contributed to the agriculture heritage of the region and the association over the past century.

I’m very much a townie but being a born-and-bred Southlander, I appreciate the important place the A & P Associations, and their shows, hold in our past, present and (hopefully) future.

While young’uns today probably don’t feel the same sense of excitement those of us of a certain age did when it comes to ‘‘show day’’ (a day off school, toffee apples and the wonders of the show … could it get any better?), there is still a bit of a buzz generated around the annual events. I still vividly remember the smell of the chooks and the clatter of the traction engines and other fascinating but mysterious (to a townie such as myself) machinery and thinking to myself how awesome it would be to live on a farm.

I have since grown up (or should I say, grown older), and while I am now pretty sure I’d actually hate living on a farm because I’m not a morning person and don’t like odd animal smells, I still have a fascination for that mysterious machinery and show day is still a little bit exciting.

What can I say, I’m just a kid at heart.

In these fickle times we now live in, that anything can survive for 100 years is a fairly impressive achievement and it’s fantastic to see that history being celebrated. And while this book is a celebration of the Winton A & P Association, it also gives a nod to the businesses and the people tied in to the agricultural industry in Central Southland, giving ample recognition to the role they have played in the success of the association.

One Hundred Summers is available from Paper Plus and the Southland District Council Library in Winton and Craig Printing in Invercargill.

One Hundred Summers, by John Cutt (Winton A & P Association, RRP $45)

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