Thousands raised in charity tractor trek

A group of Southland men keen on giving back to their community have completed a trek from Invercargill to Christchurch and back in two days.

But the kicker is, they did it in a tractor.

Members of the Thornbury Vintage Tractor and Implement Club wanted to raise money for the Southland Charity Hospital, and settled on a tractor trek.

Club president Fraser Pearce said they completed the 1200km journey non-stop.

"The team have really done very well."

Thornbury Vintage Tractor and Implement Club president Fraser Pearce stands with Bert the tractor...
Thornbury Vintage Tractor and Implement Club president Fraser Pearce stands with Bert the tractor at the Invercargill finish line yesterday. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH
The group were split into two, each driving half the distance, each way.

Mr Pearce said in just over 24 hours, the 1983 20 D Massey Ferguson tractor, or Bert, had stopped only for refuelling.

The men were welcomed back to Invercargill by a group of friends, family and well-wishers yesterday afternoon.

Only two liquorice allsorts were left by the trek’s end.

"The liquorice allsorts were there just so we could have a nibble when we were driving. That just keeps us awake and gives a wee bit of an energy boost."

The group left from E. Hayes & Sons in Invercargill and drove to the Christchurch Charity Hospital.

Based on the Christchurch operation, the Southland version would offer treatment to patients referred to them within the Southern DHB area who are unable to access treatment through the private or public health systems.

As of yesterday afternoon, an initial estimate showed the trek had raised nearly $7600.

laura.smith@odt.co.nz

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