Awards in Lawrence

Edward Fitzgerald
Edward Fitzgerald
The New Zealand Century Farm and Station Awards committee in Otago is busy preparing for its awards dinner next month.

Forty families will be honoured in Lawrence between May 17 and 19 for farming their land for 100 years or more.

Chairman Edward Fitzgerald said families would attend a welcome function on the Friday night and about 250 people were expected at the awards ceremony on the Saturday evening. During the day there was a town and farm tour which has become increasingly popular, he said.

There are five sesquicentennial awards this year recognising families on the land for more than 150 years.

Mr Fitzgerald said the awards team and Lawrence locals were looking forward to hosting this year’s event.

It was an honour to acknowledge the families’ hard work and perseverance, he said.

"Many of our pioneering families contributed greatly to their regions, town and communities, often reshaping at a significant level. For many, the efforts of their ancestors have been under-appreciated or completely unacknowledged.

"This is a chance to honour these families that have contributed and continue to contribute to New Zealand’s agricultural industry and economy."

The programme’s purpose is to capture and preserve the family history which might otherwise be lost through the generations.

Families submit narratives of their farm history, together with copies of related photographs and supporting documents which are then archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, ensuring all records are kept in perpetuity.

At the awards dinner families have a chance to meet other recipients and formally receive a distinctive bronze plaque and certificate to display on their property.

Applications are now open for the 2024 year and any families that have owned and farmed their land since 1924 or earlier are encouraged to apply.

The award committee had a "first in, first served" policy for the event and will use discretion on whether they carry applications over until the following year.

The deadline for this year’s applications is November 30, 2024.