Shearers gather from near and far for weekend reunion

Although the competition was fierce, spirits remained high over the weekend at the Peter Lyon Shearing reunion in Alexandra.

The shearing fraternity, including former All Blacks Andrew Hore and Ian Kirkpatrick, came together to celebrate the longstanding shearing firm over the three-day catch-up which began on Friday.

Peter Lyon and wife Elsie have run the business for 33 years.

Former staff members and shearing hotshots went head to head on Saturday in a speed shearing contest.

The rugby connection was prominent during the reunion, with Hore and Kirkpatrick present.

Former All Blacks Andrew Hore (left) and Ian Kirkpatrick go head to head during a speed shearing...
Former All Blacks Andrew Hore (left) and Ian Kirkpatrick go head to head during a speed shearing contest. PHOTO: ADAM BURNS

Former staff member Gloria Shelford travelled from Australia to be at the event.

 

She is a cousin of former All Black hard man Wayne "Buck'' Shelford.

"It's about catching up with friends I haven't seen for 20 to 30 years, in the one spot,'' she said.

"This was our old stomping grounds.''

Kirkpatrick, an All Black legend who played 39 tests between 1967 and 1977 and a Poverty Bay farmer from way back, said the event was "great to be a part of''.

"For 33 years, [Peter] has maintained a standard of what he wants, therefore he's got a hell of a name.''

Kirkpatrick and Hore competed against each other in speed shearing with Kirkpatrick admitting it was "some of the hardest work I've ever done in my life''.

"I haven't shorn a sheep in a while. It was a good challenge.

"Harder than playing rugby, that's for sure.''

Hore said he was looking forward to hearing all the old shearing stories.

"The industry has changed a hell of a lot in the last 30 years.''

On Saturday night following dinner and speeches, Lyon and his wife Elsie were surprised with the gift of a sculpture from former and current employees to show "appreciation and gratitude'' for their services.

Lyon said the best part of the event was the "pleasure people took from catching up with each other''.

"The shearing industry is one big family and it was good to see people enjoying themselves.

The reunion ended yesterday.

adam.burns@odt.co.nz


 

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