Former mayor proves he is a late bloomer

FOR more years than he would probably like to admit former Shoalhaven Mayor Max Atkins competed at the Berry Show in the beef cattle ring.

His Willow Park Limousin Stud at Yatte Yattah was highly regarded and over the years won numerous championships ribbons at most major shows around the country.

Just over 18 months ago Mr Atkins retired and sold his stud cattle.

Looking for something to keep him busy he launched into growing roses and now exhibits.

And it seems the success he once tasted in the cattle ring is now rubbing off in the pavilion.

Having previous exhibited roses at the Illawarra Rose Show and at Milton, this year he entered the Berry Show for the first time and from nine entries walked away with fours firsts and a second.

He gained firsts in the cut flower section with a mixed variety of 14 blooms, with Pope John Paul in the white section,  Perfume Passion in the Floribunda rose section and with Golden Jubilee and Elina in the Hybrid HT.

“When I rang up to lodge my entries they said, ‘Great, a new exhibitor.’ well, maybe in the pavilion, I’ve exhibited at Berry for 25 years,” he laughed.

“I certainly miss the cattle but the roses have been a great distraction.

“I’ve planted about 120 roses of all different varieties.

“Now I don’t get stomped on or busted ribs from being hit by cattle, I end up with cuts and scratches all over my arms from rose bushes – but it’s good, something different.

“I’ve really taken to it and, like showing cattle, if you are going to do something you do it well.

“Whatever you do, do it to the utmost.”

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