Fi­nal chap­ter of Fiel­d­ays 50th year cel­e­bra­tion

Waikato News - - NEWS -

The last act of NZ Na­tional Agri­cul­tural Fiel­d­ays’ cel­e­bra­tion of 50 years took place on Satur­day night (Nov 17) with a din­ner and the launch of a book cel­e­brat­ing 50 years.

As they left the event, hun­dreds of guests were handed a copy of Mys­tery Creek Magic, a book by jour­nal­ists Ge­off Tay­lor and Richard Walker which chron­i­cles the half cen­tury since a group of de­ter­mined, do-ity­our­self pi­o­neers started a mod­est event that would go on to be­come the big­gest agri­cul­tural trade show in the South­ern Hemi­sphere.

So­ci­ety chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Na­tion said that at a re­cent con­fer­ence in Ed­mon­ton, Canada, he gifted the book to Princess Anne.

The Princess is fea­tured in the early pages of the book when she vis­ited Te Rapa Race­course in 1970 and was shown around by so­ci­ety mem­ber Doug Bald­win who caused a stir in British news­pa­pers by wear­ing walk shorts in­stead of long trousers.

Mr Na­tion said when he re­minded her of the fuss re­cently the Princess laughed off the silli­ness of it.

Satur­day’s din­ner at Mys­tery Creek’s Bledis­loe Hall rounded off a year of events cel­e­brat­ing the 50th an­niver­sary since the first Fiel­d­ays at Te Rapa Race­course in 1969. Two Fiel­d­ays were held at the site and the next 48 at Mys­tery Creek.

As well as three cel­e­bra­tory events in the Waikato and a din­ner at Par­lia­ment House, the an­niver­sary was com­mem­o­rated by an ex­hi­bi­tion at Waikato Mu­seum while the so­ci­ety also un­veiled a sculp­ture and a chil­dren’s book.

The un­veil­ing of Mys­tery Creek Magic was the fi­nal act and Mr Na­tion said it was a fit­ting trib­ute.

Thou­sands of copies of the book were printed t and many will be gifted to so­ci­ety mem­bers, vol­un­teers and ex­hibitors across New Zealand and over­seas.

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