Breed event in Otago

More than 60 registrations from throughout New Zealand have been received for Perendale New Zealand's national conference in Otago this week.

Planning for the annual event, which alternates between the North and South islands, began nearly a year ago. The conference begins on Thursday with registrations and a dinner.

On Friday, there is a bus tour to South Otago, visiting the Mitchell family's Hillcrest stud at Clinton, and the Gardner family's stud near Balclutha. There will also be a visit to AgResearch's Invermay research centre, and to the Elders woolstore to view a wool competition.

A trip to the Strath Taieri area will be held on Saturday and the conference will finish on Sunday with the society's annual meeting and a closing dinner.

Perendales were bred by Sir Geoffrey Peren at Massey University, by crossing a Cheviot over a Romney in 1956. The Perendale Sheep Society was formed three years later.

Sir Geoffrey was born in England and obtained a degree from the Ontario Agricultural College. Serving in World War 1, he won the Croix de Guerre.

He came to New Zealand in 1924 to take up the newly established chair in agriculture at Victoria University.

In 1927, he became founding principal of Massey Agricultural College, a position which he held for 31 years.

Soon after his retirement, he was the leading figure in the formation of the Perendale Society. For 20 years as honorary secretary and patron, he devoted his energies to the development of the breed and the affairs of the society.