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PMB’s perfect’ for RAS boss

Category General News

The director of the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds, Terry Strachan, has a soft spot for Pietermaritzburg despite spending his school and university years between Pretoria and Johannesburg.

“I was born in Johannesburg in 1952 and attended St Alban’s College in Pretoria.

“After high school, I went to Wits University where I studied a BComm legal.

“After graduating, in 1973, I set up a company that manufactured personal protective equipment.

“In 1988 another Johannesburg company bought the business as they saw it as a good business opportunity. I remained at the company for a further five years and left in 1993.

“I always had a desire to try my hand at farming so we [Strachan and his wife] bought a small farm in the Mooi River area focusing on growing cabbages, spinach and broccoli.

“It was a big move and was initially exciting but I realised that although our venture was successful, you have to be born into farming. I felt like a square peg in a round hole.

“Then, totally by accident, we received an offer for the farm which was considered and accepted.

“We then moved to Pietermaritzburg as my daughter was schooling at St Anne’s.

“I put out feelers for a position, believing I would probably end up back in Johannesburg where my network was based. But within a short period of moving to the city, I was approached by the Royal Agricultural Society and was offered a job as general manager in 1996.

“In 2010, the title changed to CEO but my work remained the same.

“I find the size of Pietermaritzburg suits me immensely. I am not inclined to live in tiny towns nor larger cities as I find them to be lacking in the sense of community.

“Pietermaritzburg is perfect. I feel it is one of the most beautiful cities in the country as it is the only one surrounded by a horseshoe of escarpment.

“It is possibly South Africa’s most beautifully located city.

“One of my greatest wishes, however, is that the office bearers representing the city would market Pietermaritzburg more intensely.”

Author: Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness

Submitted 12 Jun 17 / Views 59