Bill Townsend, of Alexandra, would like to hear from anyone
who has photographs of the first calf sale in Lauder, which
was held in 1965. Photo by Yvonne O'Hara
If you were involved with the Lauder calf sales in 1966
and 1967, or have photos or other information, then Bill
Townsend, of Alexandra, wants to hear from you. Mr Townsend is
a retired real estate and livestock auctioneer and is
researching the sales.
When he worked for Donald Reid and Co Ltd he was involved
with Central Otago's first calf sale, which was held at the
Lauder railway yards on March 31, 1965.
''There were eight vendors, including the Hamiltons, Milnes,
Gillespies, Beatties, McDiarmids, Manns, Beckers and
Williamsons and we had 420 calves,'' Mr Townsend said.
While there were regular cattle sales held, until then the
beef calves - all shorthorn, Hereford, or black poll - were
''The local agent, Reg Alderson, said he would create the
first-ever calf sale in Central Otago,'' Mr Townsend said.
''As I was the junior agent I was sent to assist Mr Alderson.
''We penned the calves in the yards and then build yards
around them''The railway yards were in the middle of Lauder,
opposite the Lauder Hotel, and they backed on to the pub, Mr
Everything went well until the calves heard the steam train
coming along the track, he said.
He was sent to tell the driver to take it quietly and not
sound his whistle.
''But as he pulled out of the station he forgot and tooted
his whistle, which upset the calves, and then the yards
collapsed and the calves panicked and piled into a corner.
''It took us two hours to sort them out before the sale could
''There were no injuries, just a mess.
''Reg was a big man and he was that wild he chased after the
driver, but the train kept going to get away from him.''
A second calf sale with less commotion took place on March
30, 1966, which was even bigger, with 470 calves.
The opposition company, Wright Stephenson decided to start
its own calf sale at the Omakau railway yards in 1966 on the
same day. By 1967 Donald Reid, Wright Stephenson and other
companies combined to build yards in Omakau.
If you have any information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone (03) 440-0040.
- by Yvonne O'Hara