Fourth generation Hororata resident and historian, Kate Foster, has been named the 2022 Hororata Highland Games Chieftain.

Kate is the ‘keeper of the local stories’, not just of her family but of the Hororata community; she is passionate about the history of the area. A descendant of prominent politician Sir John Hall, remembered as a parliamentary advocate for the Votes for Women campaign, Kate has deep roots in Hororata.

Sir John Hall was passionate about the community of Hororata and the wider area. He was involved in the 19th century with establishing many of the facilities that are use today, the Domain, the Hall and the Church. He was an innovative farmer pioneering new technologies on his run, Terrace Station. Kate now lives in the Terrace Station homestead, her ancestral home and is a trustee of the Terrace Station Charitable Trust which is responsible for its care as a listed heritage building.

This rural area is renowned for leading the way, innovating, and making things happen for its community, Kate reflected. “The Hororata Domain, where the Games is held, has been in the care of the community for 144 years and has hosted many wonderful events. In the early 1900’s people would travel by train from Christchurch to Coalgate and then walk the 6km to Hororata to enjoy a day at the horse races. Newspaper reports describe other jovial gatherings, with entertaining activities, including at one time tossing cabers. So, you see that what we are doing now with the Hororata Highland Games is just carrying on this tradition, one of which we are very proud.”

“I am honoured to be the Chieftain for the 11th Hororata Highland Games. I think what we are achieving as a community is extraordinary and we are successful because we work together. Our next project is developing the Hororata Hall and the land around it into a community hub, taking what our forbearers like Sir John Hall left us and making sure it serves our people for the next century.”

The role of Chieftain dates back to when Scottish clans’ all had a ‘chieftain’ as the leader of their family. The highland games allowed the chieftain to find out who were the strongest and fastest that would represent them in battle.

At the Hororata Highland Games, the Chieftain holds an honorary position. When considering who to nominate as Chieftain the committee looks for someone who is a leader and someone who represents the values of the community.

“The Games is all about our community, we are making history with this event right now. Having Kate as the Chieftain is special, she is a leader who gives much of her time to a number of community organisations. She helps connect us to our past while encouraging us to look to the future,” commented Executive Officer of the Trust Cindy Driscoll.

The 11th Hororata Highland Games will be held in the Hororata Domain 5th November 2022. Visit the Hororata Marquee at the Games to learn more about Hororata’s pioneering history.