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Why? Because she loves her centenarian grandfather, Jack Topp, and aspired to share his 40-year butchery career.
The Rangi Ruru Girls’ School student created a documentary-like panel of Jack’s life, beginning as a 12-year-old Kaiapoi Borough School student who left to work in a butcher shop to his retirement in 1990.
“I wanted to create something meaningful that encapsulates him and his journey.”
Hurndell, who is in year 12, has worked on the project for two terms, which will go towards earning her NCEA credits.
“When Jack was 10, he was introduced to butchery for the first time. He fell in love with the trade and didn’t look back,” she said.
“He always talks about the social aspect of butchery. Back in his day, Jack was a lady’s man, I believe.
“He loved gaining regular customers and getting to know everyone else too.”
Hurndell said Jack founded Topp’s Quality Meats on Main North Rd in 1958 and owned it until 1985, so “he’d been in the trade for many decades”.
Said Jack: “The most important word is discipline, whatever you do in life. I learnt a lot because I dealt with so many people and they’re all so different.
Hurndell said her images were not only to show off her grandfather’s trade, but also the changes the trade has gone through over the years.
“Meat used to be wrapped in paper and a string, and given to customers by the butcher’s hand.
“Now when we go to the supermarket, the meat is packed in plastic and you don’t have to talk to those working in the deli,” she said.
“I loved that back in his day, it was more interactive – socialising was definitely important as it was the centre of everything.”
Hurndell plans to frame some of the photos from the board when it comes back from review in January.
Said Hurndell: “I’m incredibly proud of the finished piece. When I showed my grandfather the board, he could not wipe the smile off his face.”