Obituary: Mark Shute: long-time manager of the Royal Show

2009-05-18 00:00

MARK Shute, former general manager of the Royal Agricultural Society of Natal, has died.

Shute, who had a background in accounting, emigrated from England to South Africa in 1953. He spent 10 years working at the Rand Show in Johannesburg and was general manager of the show for four of those years. Prior to coming to Pietermaritzburg, he was project manager for the development of the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg. He took up his position in Pietermaritzburg in 1974 and held it until his retirement in 1994.

In 1991, Shute was awarded civic honours for his role in developing and promoting the Royal Show. During his tenure, buildings and facilities were upgraded and two exhibition halls and a public grandstand were built.

“Mark was a real show man in the proper sense of the word,” said Ron Glaister, a former president of the Royal Agricultural Society of Natal.

“He assembled a good staff and not only maintained, but improved the show over the years. He was acknowledged around the country as a man who knew how to run a show.”

Shute was also responsible for creating the Garden Show and the Capital Climb. After his retirement from the Royal Show, he managed six of the annual Pig and Poultry Shows.

Shute was also a former president of the SA National Equestrian Association and an international show jumping judge.

He leaves a wife Nel, three children, Jenefer, Angela and Geoff and several grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at St John’s United Church, Jabu Ndlovu Street (Loop Street), at 2 pm tomorrow.

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