Fred Barnes founded Country Calendar in 1966. The show would become one of the longest running on the planet; and as presenter, Barnes became one of New Zealand's most widely-known TV personalities. After commanding rural broadcasting for state television and radio, Barnes trained journalists in Malaysia and headed Radio New Zealand's overseas programming division. He died 13 March 1993, at 72.
He was both pathfinder and pragmatist ... no one measured better that mysterious, often elusive, laconic humour of rural New Zealand. And no one was better at translating it to the screen. Barry Shaw in the NZ Herald, 17 March 1993