Journal cover digs up rural memories

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Memory lane . . . Gore man Jim Paterson holds a photocopy of the cover of an October 1953 New Zealand Journal of Agriculture that featured a photograph of the crowd at the 1952 West Otago A&P Show where as a 14-year-old he was one of two looking at the photographer. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

Gore man Jim Paterson has been on a trip down memory lane after finding an old New Zealand Journal of Agriculture from 1953.

At the time the journal was widely read by farmers and published by the Ministry of Agriculture.

The photograph on the front of the journal was taken at the 1952 West Otago Show when it was held at Kelso.

After the floods of 1978 and the early 1980s the show was shifted to its present site at Tapanui.

Mr Paterson said the photograph was taken of the crowd just before the start of the grand parade.

“It’s an interesting photograph to see the trend of what people were wearing,” Mr Paterson said.

“All the men were done up in their suits and ladies had their hats on.”

Mr Paterson had found the journal in a collection at the Invercargill Public Library when he had a spare half-hour to fill in.

A librarian photocopied the cover of the journal for him.

Even though most people had their backs to the photographer, Mr Paterson could identify his brother Ron and Jim and George Simpson, from Waikaka.

He was 14 years old at the time and was the only one in the group whose face could easily be seen.

“I had known about [the photograph] all those years but I didn’t think I was so important in it – I’m the only one looking at the cameraman.

“I don’t know why.”