Paula Bell- President
Paula started stewarding at Southland A&P Show just over 30 years ago, and once her and her husband Ken had children she was
involved with them showing ponies until they outgrew the pony sections. At that stage Paula became involved with the show planning committee, executive and became president.
Paula really enjoys watching the satisfaction of exhibitors being successful and showing their livestock at its best. Being on the show planning committee she gets a real thrill of our having the opportunity to bridge the gap between our urban and rural communities, and creating a
fabulous day out for everybody is also a great highlight.
When asked to describe her vision for future shows and what will be the big challenges. Paula said, “Constantly finding new ideas and initiatives to keep the show relevant and attractive to the community, exhibitors and volunteers alike, while maintaining the traditions of A&P shows. Keeping
young people involved and giving them roles to ensure the future of the show as our youth is our future.”
We asked Paula what she enjoys most about our show?
Seeing competitors reap rewards from hard work. Watching the urban children interact with animals. Encouraging our youth to take part in more major roles in the organisation of the show and seeing them succeed at this. Working alongside a hard working committee and other volunteers that make the show a success and the great friendships you make over the years.
For the best part of my life the Southland A & P show has been a day to look forward to especially back in the days when it meant a day off school.
In 1970 I was given the opportunity to become part of the show committee as one of three delegates from Young Farmers.
My interest has been the sheep section where for many years I stewarded, leading in the late eighties and early nineties to a term as sheep marshall culminating with the 1989 Royal Show. This led to a two year term as President one of which was presiding over the 1994 NZ Royal Show. My
involvement since then has been on our executive committee and show setup prior to show day.Due to recycling I found myself sheep marshall again in 2013, a job I now share in 2019.
Our audience has shifted to a larger portion of city folk rather than rural, and so this gives us a great opportunity to showcase what happens in the country, a very important task these days.
Helping organise a family event that is value for money has great food and entertainment and has everyone going home wanting to come back next year gives one a lot of satisfaction.
Although my wish is to step back a little, I hope to remain around to support the great young committee that are now driving our show.