Passion and attention to detail for mohair pays off with award

By Maureen Bishop - Central Rural Life

Donece McEwan's home studio is packed with her creations. Photo / Maureen Bishop
Donece McEwan's home studio is packed with her creations. Photo / Maureen Bishop

A passion for the mohair industry and a desire to share it with others has resulted in Ashburton woman Donece McEwan being recognised by fellow mohair producers.

Mrs McEwan was presented with the president's or council trophy at the national Mohair Producers conference this month, for her work in the industry over many years.

Her passion for the industry and the promotional work she has done with her husband Ray at agricultural and pastoral shows and events throughout the country was acknowledged.

She was also honoured for her creative skills when turning the fibre into finished articles - knitting, teddy bears, furnishing and clothing.

The award could have gone to the pair of them, but it can only be given to someone who is not on the board of Mohair Producers New Zealand, a condition which excluded Mr McEwan.

He was aware of the presentation but had a hard time convincing Donece to attend the conference session in Ashburton where trophies were presented.

She wanted to stay home and ensure everything was in order for the afternoon field day they were hosting as part of the conference.

Before the conference, the couple spent hours preparing fleeces to enter in national competitions.

Small strand by small strand, they prepared their angora goat fleeces.

They spent hours assessing each strand of fibre and it paid off, as the couple picked up the top trophy for a third shearfleece from a buck or a doe.

They have entered the competitions three times in the past four years and won it three times.

They believe presentation is as important as quality and their painstaking attention to detail has proved successful.

"We sit and lay out each strand individually while we're sitting in front of television. Judges don't want to find anything in it that shouldn't be there," Mrs McEwan said.

They also had entries in the classes for 5kg of kid fibre and fibre from a wether goat, both of which were won by Gary and Anne Boyle from Hawke's Bay.

- Otago Daily Times

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