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I started as a woolhandler in 1977 we still had straw brooms lol. We used to do Mt Witnow Mt Virginia Gola Peaks And Mt Mason in Harwarden! Also Blue mountain and Fairlie and Gordy Mcraes in Waihaorunga and Rollesbury station.
I love Wool handling and Classing and being part of the team. I always encourage the staff to have a look at my lines and don’t mind teaching Wool handlers classing.
I then started blade shearing for Donny Hammond in 1979 for 12 seasons pre lamb used to go from May till November in the 70s and eightys. In 1995 I attended Lincoln University to attain my Certificate In Wool and my P stencil yah. I then went wool handling for Donny and learnt to class through Nig Gloag my good friend and mentor. Nig sent me out to do sheds on my own and my first shed was Omarama Stn hoggets. Tim Wardell gave me my first break into wool classing by hiring me. Thank you Tim for that Break mate. I got a great result and always enjoyed working for Dick and Tim Wardell. Nig had a heart attack and I got to class Brooksdale Stn, Ben Dhu,Glenbrook Awarakino.
I got another good break when Kevin Waldron got me to class Taieri Lake Stn and Castle Hill in the Middlemarch region.John and Ellen Catherwood had just purchased Taieri Lake Stn. John had high expectations and a very even clip. Kevin Waldron taught me heaps and keep me on my toes, as Taieri lake was on the main highway Kevin would call in any time and go straight into my bins and tear them apart. I classed Taieri lake for 7 years and enjoyed John, Ellen and their childrens company real one eyed CanterburIan‚Äôs.I also classed Glentanner Stn for Ross and Helen Ivey for 8 years.Ross was great to work for and grew great merino wool and we always had some awesome storms at Glentanner. I also classed Waikoria Stn for Murray Elliot for 7 years. Murrays Father Bob always came for pre lamb to help out and I enjoyed having Bob in the shed checking out my lines.We always had a drink before tea. Donald Ramsey from Castle Hill is a top wool grower and Farmer him and Mary built a brand new shed which is so cool to work in we’ve seen a lot of staff come through Castle Hill and enjoyed all JK and Megan’s staff and Megan going hard on the board teaching her young staff the ropes.
I’ve been going to Donalds since about 1998 and I love the Middlemarch region with the RocknPillars and the Taeri River And valley. I feel so privileged to have worked on all these properties and many other stations . I very much enjoy the challenge of wool clip preperation and working with the woolhandlers. At the moment I class Castle Hill, Ben Ledi, Mt Alexandar, Elephant Hill and I do a lot of fill in work whereever I’m needed.
I have ambitions of classing in Australia at some stage but I do think It will be a lot harder as you have to count out and do the Talley book in your own time. I’m passionate about the whole industry and it’s in my blood. I’ve meet so many cool Farmers and their families as well as Shearing staff and wool handlers. I love driving into these high country stations and love it better driving out. I work independently from any shearing gang which is great because I don’t get stuck in a rut and I get to meet lots of people. I so love Wool and will never stop learning about it. Any staff I’ve worked with over the years feel free to friend me on FaceBook and keep in touch.
Cheers, Bert Cole D1723