‘PMB’s per­fect’ for RAS boss

The man who runs ‘The Show’ only wishes the city could be mar­keted bet­ter

The Witness - - NEWS - AS TOLD TO CHELSEA PIETERSE • chelsea.pieterse@wit­ness.co.za

THE di­rec­tor of the Royal Agri­cul­tural Show­grounds, Terry Strachan, has a soft spot for Pi­eter­mar­itzburg de­spite spend­ing his school and univer­sity years be­tween Pre­to­ria and Jo­han­nes­burg.

“I was born in Jo­han­nes­burg in 1952 and at­tended St Al­ban’s Col­lege in Pre­to­ria.

“Af­ter high school, I went to Wits Univer­sity where I stud­ied a BComm le­gal.

“Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, in 1973, I set up a com­pany that man­u­fac­tured per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment.

“In 1988 an­other Jo­han­nes­burg com­pany bought the busi­ness as they saw it as a good busi­ness op­por­tu­nity. I re­mained at the com­pany for a fur­ther five years and left in 1993.

“I al­ways had a de­sire to try my hand at farm­ing so we [Strachan and his wife] bought a small farm in the Mooi River area fo­cus­ing on grow­ing cab­bages, spinach and broc­coli.

“It was a big move and was ini­tially ex­cit­ing but I re­alised that al­though our ven­ture was suc­cess­ful, you have to be born into farm­ing. I felt like a square peg in a round hole.

“Then, to­tally by ac­ci­dent, we re­ceived an of­fer for the farm which was con­sid­ered and ac­cepted.

“We then moved to Pi­eter­mar­itzburg as my daugh­ter was school­ing at St Anne’s.

“I put out feel­ers for a po­si­tion, be­liev­ing I would prob­a­bly end up back in Jo­han­nes­burg where my net­work was based. But within a short pe­riod of moving to the city, I was ap­proached by the Royal Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety and was of­fered a job as gen­eral man­ager in 1996.

“In 2010, the ti­tle changed to CEO but my work re­mained the same.

“I find the size of Pi­eter­mar­itzburg suits me im­mensely. I am not in­clined to live in tiny towns nor larger cities as I find them to be lack­ing in the sense of com­mu­nity.

“Pi­eter­mar­itzburg is per­fect. I feel it is one of the most beau­ti­ful cities in the coun­try as it is the only one sur­ rounded by a horse­shoe of es­carp­ment.

“It is pos­si­bly South Africa’s most beau­ti­fully lo­cated city.

“One of my great­est wishes, how­ever, is that the of­fice bear­ers rep­re­sent­ ing the city would mar­ket Pi­eter­mar­itzburg more in­tensely.”

PHOTO: IAN CARBUTT

Royal Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety di­rec­tor Terry Strachan in the board room at the Royal Show­grounds.

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