Tied up


I haven’t had to wear a tie since I was at high school when I tied it at the start of term and just loosened it and slipped it on and off until it had to be washed.

Quite why this useless accessory has persevered is a thesis topic awaiting a grant.

But persevere it does and here, as a public service for those who have to tie up, is pictorial assistance from Graphjam:

You're Welcome

Hon Dr, OBE & inspirational bloke

In his typically modest way Sid concluded his speech last night by saying, “In honouring me you have honoured yourselves because we have all been part of this.” He had a point, but he was the leader and continues to be an inspiration. 

The invitation was to celebrate the contribution Sid Hurst had made to the Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company and the evening was a tribute to a man who is still doing more at 91 than many people half his age.


He learned about the importance of water early because North Otago was drought prone and farms were dependent on rain to supply water for stock and houses.


Sid’s family was one of the first in the district to install a flush loo in their home. It would have been an improvement on a longdrop but water shortages meant it could be flushed just once a day.


Sid was one of the people behind the Windsor Rural Water Scheme, New Zealand’s first, and one of the first to use irrigation in North Otago. He was also the driving force behind the development of irrigation on the Lower Waitaki.


Last night’s celebration was at Riverstone Kitchen which wouldn’t be there, offering superbly cooked fresh food, had irrigation not transformed the arid Waitaki Valley bringing more people, making more money and improving the environment.


Sid had been an innovator in farming and business, succeeding in both and helping other people and the wider community. His service was recognised when he was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Science from Lincoln University and awarded an OBE.


In his typically modest way, Sid concluded his remarks last night by saying, “In honouring me you have honoured yourselves because we have all been part of this.”


He had a point but he was the leader and continues to be an inspiration.



Water water everywhere . . .


In honour of World Water Day I offer this for you to ponder on.

It was written by Ken Gibson who farmed in the Enfield District in North Otago and published his memories in a book, Days Gone By.

We made holes with post hole diggers. We dug wells. We made dams. We carted water from what wells we had on the farm. The cows stood and drank the water as fast as we could lift it to the surface.

We were not alone. With one or two exceptions, the farms between the Waiareka Creek and the Kakanui river were without good supplies of water. It was virtually a risk to stok the farm up because when the dry and heat came on we couldn’t give the animals a drink.

We sledged, we bucketed, we drayed, we truckes, we pumped water to try and get ahead of it. There was never enough until 1957 came, but that is another story.

The other story was the development of rural water schemes. The first in New Zealand was built in 1956 by farmers in the Windsor District, among whom was my father in law. The Enfield scheme was opened the following year and it was greeted as eagerly by farmers of that era as irrigation is today.

Before the advent of rural water schemes, it wasn’t only the land and stock which were short of water, houses were reliant on rain too and with an average of 20 inches  a year that was a scarce commodity.

Even when the rural water schemes were introduced there wasn’t a lot to spare for houses and gardens because stock water was the priority.

One unexpected bonus of irrigation has been enough water for gardens. My mother in law established her plantings by carrying buckets of water to plants. My farmer rigged up a couple of k-lines  for our garden so it’s mostly watered with the turn of a tap.

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