50th contest, new venue a success

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Still got it . . . Retired professional shearer Sir David Fagan shows he hasn't forgotten a thing in the Waimate Shears ``father and son'' event, having watched his son Jack (second from left) shear a sheep in the Saturday afternoon crowd-pleaser. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

by Alexia Johnston

The New Zealand Spring Shears returned to Waimate last weekend, complete with all the trimmings.

Milestones were marked at the event, including its 50th anniversary and the first year operating at a new purpose-built pavilion.

Shears president Warren White was also credited for his long association with the group. He was made a life member during the weekend, in recognition of his efforts which include about 18 years spent on the committee.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” he said.

However, what was expected was strong competition and that was exactly what the crowd got while watching the line-up of events, including fleece-throwing, speed and blade shearing, and a father-and-son event, among others.

“We got a lot of really positive feedback.” – Shears president Warren White

Sir David Fagan teamed up with his son, Jack, for the occasion.

Joel Henare, of Dunedin, was the one to watch in the woolhandling event, a skill for which he holds the world championship title, while Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, won the open shears event.

Mr White said the weekend was a great success.

Hosting the 50th anniversary from the new pavilion was among the highlights, an aspect which was a common topic of conversation throughout the three-day event.

“We got a lot of really positive feedback,” Mr White said of the venue.

“Everyone was talking about how they thought they were coming into a shed, but they came into a hall.”