Anne’s Dad

Ivan McIlroy – now world-famous Life Member of the Mid-Canterbury Farm Forestry Association!

Anne’s father Ivan McIlroy was granted life membership of the Mid-Canterbury Farm Forestry Association at a function on Sunday afternoon.  Ivan is a tree man – over 60 years ago he founded Allenton Nurseries – starting with farm forestry and slowly building the business to be one of New Zealand’s leading wholesale exotic tree nurseries.  Allenton Nurseries was closed just two weeks ago – the winds of change finally caught up.  In my view, the combination of changes in fashion and the smaller sections people live on contributed to its demise, alongside a slump in fruit tree growing, the economic slump of the last few years, and the decline in purchases because of the Christchurch earthquake.  Too many forces combined at once – quite sad really.  For those who don’t realise, fashion is the enemy of creativity… and trees.
Ivan has been out of the day to day life of the nursery for some years now.  He is typically stoic in his attitude about the changes – but I am sure he had hopes for the business to keep going, and the family all feel deeply for the staff, most of whom have found other work.


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