Society moots for show to be national heritage event
THE Bathurst Agricultural Society (BAS) mooted the possibility at their AGM on Monday that their annual Bathurst Agricultural Show should become a national heritage event.
The idea was suggested by the Pig & Whistle. There is no cost in becoming a heritage event, but research is still to be conducted to discover whether it would be of any benefit to the show, for example, national standing and the possible involvement of Lotto.
BAS president Danny Wepener thanked all the people who made this year’s Bathurst Show a success. “The 2016 Bathurst Show was financially the best show ever, according to the stall holders,” said Wepener.
He thanked the stewards and the judges in all the sections – cattle, small stock, poultry, pig, horse, pineapple, indoor stands, outdoor stands, security and parking, gates and pubs – for running their sections well.
Cattle auctions, horse shows and the like take a lot of organising, including catering, and Wepener thanked Christine Craddock for her contribution. He also thanked Tosca Spenceley for her flower arranging and quilting. The baby show with 90 entrants was also a great success.
Wepener also thanked the sponsors, SA Breweries and the Eastern Cape Agricultural Show Association (Ecasa), for “believing in our society”.
He mentioned that Ndlambe Municipality contributed 20 tankers of water to the show at a time when Bathurst was suffering from a dire water shortage. The society’s 2016 motto is “Be waterwise”. The show grounds have been used to host several events during the past year, such as a biker’s rally and the youth show, which help to keep things going financially, said Wepener.
The youth show offers a great opportunity to local children. Ten children from local schools are currently being taught how to look after and show animals. They competed against children from other areas in the youth show and will earn a certificate which they can use to obtain employment when they leave school.
Three of the children were chosen to participate in an Eastern Cape youth provincial show and are training for the national youth competition that will take place in Mpumalanga next month. They are twins Luyanda and Lunga Laiweni and Sibongakonke Mbolekwa. The latter is a Grade 6 pupil at Bathurst Primary School.
Ecasa sponsors the youth show and may hold the next national event in Bathurst, in which case there will be 500 children descending on the Bathurst show grounds for week-long event.
The children need animals for demonstrations, including heifers, young bulls, sheep, goats and chickens. The main emphasis has been on horses up until now because, according to Ecasa, there is a shortage of “horse people” in the Eastern Cape. The children must trim the hooves, nose and ear hairs, and wash the animal in 20 minutes.
But even the chickens need to be looked after in a certain, prescribed way. They are in fact bathed in soapy water and given a hair dry afterwards.
Due to petty theft, possible stock theft and stock poaching, animals cannot be kept on the show grounds and therefore have to be rented from local farmers.
Children between the ages of seven and 17 can apply to attend the school and must be prepared to make a considerable time commitment, especially when nationals come up and they have to sacrifice their weekends. The children learn neatness, discipline and life skills, as well as practical skills.
Next year’s show will be from March 31 to April 2.
There were some changes in the committee members appointed for 2016/2017.
Danny Wepener was elected president, Pam Elliott lady president, Brent McNamara first vice-president, Cyril Tyson second vice-president (to be confirmed), Tosca Spenceley first lady president, Christine Craddock second lady president and Derrick Church treasurer. A new appointment was honourable life member Anna Woolf.