Colin and Shona Wallace, from Alexandra, with the Heather
Perriam Memorial Trophy at the Otago Merino Association
merino excellence awards, in Queenstown. Photo by Olivia
Colin Wallace believes the merino wool industry is
Now retired in Alexandra, Mr Wallace was awarded the Heather
Perriam Memorial Trophy for services to the merino industry
at the Otago Merino Association's recent merino excellence
awards in Queenstown.
Receiving the award, which was presented by Tony Jopp, from
Moutere Station, in Central Otago, came as a ''complete
surprise'' and Mr Wallace said it was a real honour.
When he left school, he never intended making wool classing a
career. It was an ''intermediary sort of thing'' but it did
become a career, although he was not in the wool industry all
He also trained in leather technology and spent time in the
Mr Wallace enjoyed working with ''very special people'' in
the merino industry, and said the growers were very dedicated
and passionate about what they did.
They were farming on the highest country, where no other
farming was viable, and the sheep were up against the
Seeing the formation of the New Zealand Merino Company was a
highlight of his classing career, he said.
Another highlight was getting a scholarship to go to England,
where he worked for the British Wool Marketing Board and a
top-making mill in Bradford. Gaining insight into the
processing side of the industry was very valuable.
In latter times, Mr Wallace classed about 10 properties in
New Zealand and he also classed in Argentina. He was
returning to Patagonia this year to advise on sheep breeding.
New Zealand genetics, mainly from Moutere, had been
introduced and it had been ''amazing'' to see the
improvement. They were very good all-round sheep, he said.
A good classer needed to be dedicated, plan ahead and pay
attention to detail, he said.
For many years, Mr Wallace and his wife Shona ran an organic
market garden, which he was able to combine with his wool
classing. Gardening was still a major interest for the
Elaine Horn (left) and Christine Donovan, from the Child
Cancer Foundation, flank Child Cancer fleece competition
winner Ron Jones, from Matarae Station. Photo by Olivia
• The Otago Merino Association has been presented with a
certificate from the Child Cancer Foundation, recognising that
more than $200,000 has been raised for the organisation through
its fleece competition over the years.
At this year's excellence awards, $7800 was raised for the
foundation through an auction of various items. Kevin
Malcolm, from FMG, bought the winning fleece in the fleece
competition - entered by the Jones family from Matarae
Station - for a further $2500. Proceeds of all the wool,
which was yet to be sold, were still to be added.
There were 133 fleeces entered and a further nine that were
donated but did not want to be entered in the competition.
• The Otago Merino Association will hold a field day at
Barbara Annan's Lindis Peaks property, at Tarras, on November
The focus will be on the Lindis Peaks operation, followed by
a panel discussion, with representatives from the Otago
Regional Council and Environment Canterbury, on various
compliance issues affecting farmers. The field day will start