Presidential couple taking on first Cheviot show

Mike and Elspeth Loughnan are the co-presidents of this year’s Cheviot A&P Show to be held on...
Mike and Elspeth Loughnan are the co-presidents of this year’s Cheviot A&P Show to be held on March 14. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Community stalwarts Mike and Elspeth Loughnan have stepped up to lead this year’s Cheviot A&P Show.

The couple has only joined the committee since last year’s show to take on the roles of co-presidents after years of service to the wider community in a variety of roles.

"We are very much newbies. I’ve avoided it for a long time, while doing other things in the community," Mr Loughnan said.

"But we have two new vice-presidents and everyone’s new, but we’ve got good support and there’s a number of past presidents still involved."

Admission to the 112th annual show, being held at the Cheviot Showgrounds on Saturday, March 14, will be free thanks to the support of local businesses.

Mt Beautiful Winery has come on board as the event’s major sponsor and the committee has been amazed by the response of local business people who have got in behind this year’s show.

"We are so grateful to our sponsors for being able to give free entry," Mrs Loughnan said.

"People are struggling after the earthquake and the drought, so it’s about getting them back to the show," Mr Loughnan added.

Appropriately, this year’s theme is "celebrating Cheviot".

They might be new to the show committee, but the Loughnans were familiar faces in Cheviot.

Mr Loughnan was a rugby coach for 23 years for the Glenmark and Cheviot clubs and more recently the combined Glenmark-Cheviot club, winning the Canterbury Country combined and North Canterbury senior rugby competitions and was a former North Canterbury rep player.

The couple’s sons, Tim and Hugh, continued to play for the Glenmark-Cheviot second division team.

Mrs Loughnan has been a teacher at Cheviot Area School for more than 20 years, teaching primary school classes.

They run a 320ha sheep and beef farm at Blythe Valley, south of the Hurunui River mouth in partnership with eldest son Tim and his partner Jaymie, who works at Misco Joinery in Kaiapoi.

Tim Loughnan was the fifth generation on the farm, dating back to Mrs Loughnan’s great-grandfather T.H. Wilkinson, who was one of the first ballot holders.

The farming operation had changed in recent years, being about 2500 stock units of mainly trading sheep and cattle. It has been blended with tourism including "glamping", jet-boat trips and farm tours.

"It keeps us busy and it’s a way of diversifying," Mr Loughnan said.

This season had been a tough one with the dry conditions, he said.

"A bit more water would certainly help, but we are dry land farming. It really depends on what happens from now on whether you call it a drought.

"It’s getting to be a bit more than a dry summer."

Mr Loughnan was born and bred at Scargill, inland between Greta Valley and Hawarden.

The couple’s daughter, Virginia, is a consents manager at Environment Canterbury, while youngest son Hugh, a recent graduate of Lincoln University, is an environmental planner.

Add a Comment