Cottage to become awards HQ

Awards vault . . . A historic cottage in the main street of Lawrence is being fitted out as a headquarters for the New Zealand Century Farms and Station Awards. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A fit-out of a historic Clutha cottage is under way to open a headquarters for the New Zealand Century Farms and Station Awards.

Awards committee chairman Edward Fitzgerald, of Lawrence, said the committee was set to lease the cottage in Ross Pl from the Lawrence Heritage and Cultural Charitable Trust.

‘‘The appeal of the cottage was its age.’’

The three-room cottage is one of the earliest built in Lawrence, circa 1869, and was shifted from Whitehaven St in 2010 by the trust.

Work to make the cottage suitable as a public space had started, including plans to build a ramp to an accessible toilet, he said.

‘‘It’s a big step for Century Farms — we’ve been talking about going down this path for the past five years.’’

The awards formally honour New Zealand families for the achievement of farming their land for 100 years or more.

A room at the front of the cottage would be used to show a collection of memorabilia from the awards, such as booklets detailing the recipients of every award ceremony since 2008.

The room would also include information about the awards, such as how farmers could apply to be a recipient.

Many families were eligible for the award and had not applied, Mr Fitzgerald said.

He hoped the cottage would help spread the word of the significance of the awards.

The second room would be used to consolidate archive material of the awards committee, which was now stored across various locations.

‘‘We need to bring it all together.’’

The third room would be sublet to a local artist.

Sponsorship to help offset the cost of the lease was being sought.

‘‘That will be the focus for the next two to three months.’’

He expected the cottage to open in spring and be open to the public each week for three consecutive days from Wednesday.

‘‘A big step’’ . . . New Zealand Century Farms and Station Awards
committee chairman Edward Fitzgerald. PHOTO: SRL FILES