Top honour: The Lake County A&P Society's newest life members, from left, Debbie MacColl, Jenette Boyd, Grant Stalker and Jan Tomes

The Lake County A&P Society has four new life members who, between them, have been involved for almost 95 years.

At Saturday’s Lake Hayes A&P Show, the 105th time it’s been held, Jan Tomes, Jenette Boyd, Debbie MacColl and Grant Stalker were all presented with their life membership pins by president Phillip Bunn.

Tomes came to her first AGM when Bill Grant had his first stint in the president’s chair, between 1982 and 1984, and her involvement’s never really stopped.

“They asked me if I could help with the horses.

“And then it was ‘can you do the horses?”‘

Next, she became the society’s secretary, a role she held for five years.

Of the life membership, Tomes says it’s “wonderful”.

Boyd’s also been involved about 15 years, doing a huge amount of work with the equestrian events and serving on the committee.

The hard yards for her are now over, she jokes.

“We just sit here [in the President’s tent] and drink Pimm’s now.”

MacColl, the first female president of the society, held the job from 1998 until 2000, then handed the reins to Stalker, who was president from 2000 to 2002.

The pair, in particular, had “mammoth jobs” while in the top seat, Bunn says.

MacColl was responsible for upgrading the pavilion and Stalker developed the new arena.

Bunn says until 1971 the show arena was owned by the society, then it was sold to Queenstown’s council – for a whopping 10 cents.

“The condition was the council had to build a pavilion and give the A&P Society the use of the grounds, and the building, for one week a year in perpetuity [to hold the show].

“The rest of the year the arena and pavilion were to be for community use.”

While the society’s continued to use the grounds for that one week of the year, Bunn says over the last decade or so the area’s been used more and more for commercial purposes “and the community has been given the back seat”.

“It [the agreement] is something we like to remind the council of every chance we get.”