After three highly successful Featherston Booktown festivals, the Chair of the Featherston Booktown Trust and founder of the concept in New Zealand, Lincoln Gould, is retiring from the Board of Trustees.
"I have seen Featherston Booktown grow from a brave idea to a highly successful annual event, attracting thousands of book lovers to Featherston and engaging positively with the local community," Mr Gould said.
"As well, it's very gratifying that, with Featherston Booktown playing a key role, the town now has six thriving bookshops – and, possibly, one more to open shortly – which add to the current vibrancy and popularity of Featherston."
Mr Gould said that he'd always wanted to "pass the baton on" when Featherston Booktown had been well and truly established as a key event in the calendar of the Wellington region.
"It's got to that stage now. We had four thousand people at this year's Featherston Booktown - and a record number of booksellers. Plus the Fish and Chip Supper, which launches the Festival, was again sold out," he said.
"There's still exciting growth and innovation potential for Featherston Booktown and I think a new Chair will bring new energy and ideas in terms of making that happen.
"My day job is Chief Executive of Booksellers NZ – and retiring from the Trust will allow me to devote more time and attention to my weekend hobby, Messines Bookshop: Military History, which is one of the new Booktown bookshops in Featherston."
Interim Featherston Booktown Trust Chair, Peter Biggs, paid tribute to Mr Gould.
"Lincoln's been the driving force behind Featherston Booktown's success and the Trustees acknowledge all of his hard work and dedication to ensuring that the festival is firmly cemented into the brand of Featherston, the South Wairarapa and New Zealand as a whole.
"We are delighted that Lincoln has accepted the role of "Founding Kaumatua" and that the Trust will be able to access his wisdom and guidance as we take Featherston Booktown into the future."
Mr Biggs said that a new full-time Chair will be appointed as soon as possible.
For further information, please contact: Peter Biggs Tel: 021 308 828