Respected  Shearing Industry People Passed On

Steve Handley, From Chinchilla, Queensland, Australia -  passed away in Februay 2014 A big loss, sympathy to friends and family 
John McRae, shearing contractor for 55 years, of Armidale NSW passed away on Thursday 23rd January 2014 Funeral to be held Friday 31st in Armidale. Sadly missed by the industry. Sympathy to family and friends
Jack Ratima, great man, great shearer passed away 27th September 2013, RIP
Stephen Pinchin, Shearing employer from Esperance Western Australia  passed away 10th November 2013 from a series of heart attacks
Tai Jacob Hoera, Awesome shepherd, shearing ganger, father of 8 children wth Kuini,  passed away at his home 
Rick Pivac (New Zealand Master Shearer) Passed away,September 2013 in Western Australia Sympathy to friends and family 
Mike Duff has passed away, awesome shed shearer from the 1970s and 1980s Sympathy to family and friends
Frog Potae One of the great shearers from New Zealand  passed away 6th December 2012 after a long illness, 64 years young, condolences to all family and friends
Mark Conlan, 1986 World Shearing Champion passed away 24th June 2012 after a long illness, 58 years young, condolences to all family and friends  link
Trevor Hollet, passed away peacefully May 11th  2012 Trevor has been a long time tireless supporter of Sports Shear, the Industry & Shearing events for many years, he will be sadly missed Funeral 2.00pm, Wednesday 17th May 2012 at the Anglican Church, Tenterfield Members of Sports Shear QLD will be in attendance
Judy Stringer of Waipiata passed away 28th December 2011, Judy and ex husband John ran a shearing business for many years around the Maniototo, Judy was always a hard worker - Missed by many family and friends
Joe Te Kapa the great Master Shearer  passed away 8th August 2011, sympathy to family and friends  Funeral Waingaro Marae Saturday 13th August at 11am

Ray Alabaster the great shearer from Taihape,  passed away today 2/2/2011, Ray was a Golden Shears Open finalist too many times, and employed many on his Taihape run, sympathy to family & friends

Robbie Bush,  NSW Shearing Supplies passed away today 8/11/2010 after a heart attack while in New Zealand  Robbie was a great supporter of the shearing industry and a innovator in many products  Sympathy to family and friends  -  Funeral 17th November,  39L Boothenba Road, Dubbo, NSW at 2.00pm
Louis Kingi passed away on 24/5/2010 after a short battle with cancer at his home in Balfour Southland, New Zealand surrounded by his family and friends
Jim Nicholas Scia Scia died of a heart attack while swimming in the sea at Dongara, Western Australia 4th April 2010 His wishes will be honoured and he will be taken home to New Zealand be buried by his Mum and Dad
Sparky (Raymond) Heke of Temuka, specialist fine wool shearer passed away March 25th 2010 - Sympathy to all his whanau and friends
Te Ao Reremoana (Nan) Bailey passed away February 15th 2010 - Woolhandler for many years around Southland and mother of 10, 4 shearers, 3 woolhandlers and 1 presser - Rest in peace
Boy Rua, greatly respected shearer passed away at Ohai on February 8th 2010 - Boy only shore around Ohai all his shearing life, sympathy to all family and friends
Jim Mitchell of Rotorua passed away 28/10/09 aged 83  Shearer, contractor, but will be remembered as a friend and mentor to many many in the shearing industry in NZ and Australia  He walked that long hard dusty shearing road with so many co-workers and every single one would have been been enriched by his example and wisdom  With his permission I named my son after him and if he grows up to be half the man Jim was I'll be a happy man  Farewell Sweet Prince,  Kiwi Rendall  -email:
Peter Stewart more commonly known as Walkabout by his friends, passed away on Saturday 26th September 2009 at Griffith NSW. Rest in peace my friend and our deepest sympathy to his family.- K Morrison
Tamoe Hampton Haronga, highly respected shearer of Katanning was tragically killed in a car accident on the 9th of October 2009.He will be missed by all in the Katanning shearing community and especially by his partner Lorraine and daughters Tatiana and Sita, deepest sympathy to all family and friends, R.I P Brother - J King
Jack Gemmell passed away suddenly on the 1st August 2009 in Portland, Victoria He will be greatly missed by friends an work colleages May your soul rest in peace, you will always remain in our hearts, deepest sympathy to family an friends - V Schimanski
Casey Bowring, shearer of Narrogin, West Australia passed away in a car accident on Sunday 14th June. He was flown back to NZ on Friday 19th. A service for his friends and partner Jessica on Friday 26th June at Narrogin Anglican Church. All friends of Casey, Jessica and Tyler are welcome. BYO and help send the brother on his hikoi, Arohanui email:
Brian Thomas died 23\8\09 in Tasmania. Brian was from Morrinsville NZ
Henry Eustance Cross died on 22\6\2009. Henry was a gentleman, gun shearer and respected by everyone
In memory of our hugely respected friend, Ray Herbertson NSW contractor of the 1970s & 1980s employer of shearers & shedhands from around the world and last of the three strike breakers in NSW Australia passed away on Mon 18 May 2009.Survived by 3 children Carmen, Sherrie & Raymond & their families. Friends Ian & Sue Ratford & Peter & Dee Robinson
Willie Tito passed away suddenly on May 9 2009 at Ennebba, Western Australia, Willie shore in New Zealand and other countries around the World and was based in Western Australia for over 20 years, sympathy to family and friends
In loving memory of our hugely respected friend and colleague Gina Nathan, woolclasser (stencil no: M1664), master woolhandler and remarkable individual. Gina passed away suddenly in Dunedin Hospital last night 17/3/2009  Gina you were one in a million, you were and always will be an icon of the wool industry. Your skill and passion for the wool, AND GETTING IT RIGHT!! has been an inspiration to us and many others through the years. Your legacy will endure. Thank you for being a mate G, you will be hugely, hugely missed. Signed Raelene McConachie (A1254) and Marg Forde (A1260)  -  Funeral service 11am Sunday 22nd March, Kahuranaki Marae at Te Hauke, Hawkes Bay
Graeme Martin passed away suddenly in Victoria on Thursday 13.11.08 - Marty was a fitness fanatic, helped many people in the shearing industry  Marty originally from New Zealand lived and worked around Dubbo for many years and will be sadly missed by many - Sympathy to family and friends
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the sad but peaceful death of John W Davis MBE at home in Bath, England last Sunday 5th October 2008  John, former Secretary of the Royal Bath & West of England Society and an Honorary Life Member and former Secretary of Golden Shears World Council, was a true friend of Sheep Shearing and gave of his all for the benefit of others. His contribution of experience and wisdom when involved with founding World Council and in the drawing up of the first Constitution created a strong and secure foundation from which we are benefiting from today. Shearing throughout the World is the stronger for his support and input and for those who knew John, our lives are the richer for having known him - Arthur Rundle, Secretary Golden Shears World Council
Des Allan, past Australian Shearing Champion, passed away the first week in April 2008. Des was in the first Australian Shearing Team to New Zealand's Golden Shears in 1961, with Kevin Sarre and Fred Jarvis. He will be sadly missed
King Country shearing contractor and publican Steve (Traggy) Trangmar passed away in his ute as a result of an accident early on Sunday morning 16/03/08. Widely known and well-travelled in NZ, Traggy was a true character who will be missed by many and will surely live on as a shearing world legend.  Relatively new to the ownership side of a pub bar, Traggy organised the inaugural and very successful Te Anga Tavern Speed Shear on Saturday night; his commitment to and interest in the shearing community was huge.  Sincere sympathy to his family – children Te Rangi, Hayley and Sam and special friend Ging.  Funeral Waitomo Marae 10 am 22/03/08 Easter Saturday
Piet Tenteng one of South Africa's leading shearers and NWGA Instructors passed away on 24/2/08 after a long illness. Piet represented South Africa at the World Championships in Ireland and was a gifted shearer. Piet will be sadly missed by instructors, wool farmers, and the shearing industry in South Africa and worldwide. To Piet's family and friends we are thinking of you in your time of sadness
Ivan Bowen, Legend in the shearing industry and Open Winner of the Inaugural  Golden Shears in 1961, passed away, 91 years old, at his home in Rotorua 29/12/2007 - Sympathy to family and friends
Joe Paewai, well renown shearer, passed away 5/12/2007  Joe was a great fine wool shearer, won the NZ Merino Championships open event this year, was a NZ Shearing Team member. He will be sadly missed by many.   Sympathy to Dianne and family  
Tokoroa-based shearer Wai Whitiwhiti has died in a tragic accident, fishing off Northland rocks.  Wai and his wife and great companion Denise have been a widely respected, hardworking couple, part of the shearing industry for many years. A devoted father, keen pig hunter and fisherman, successful show shearer and key support crew member for record breakers Justin Bell and Rod Sutton, Wai will be missed by many
Bill Morrison of Alfredton, ex Shearer, Contractor, and administrator for the NZ Shearing Contractors Association passed away suddenly early October 2007 at home. Bill was very well respected throughout the shearing industry for his input. Sympathy to Gloria and family
Paul (Pou) Edwards collapsed while shearing in Central Otago Aug 23 2007 and died later that morning in Dunstan Hospital. Aged 39 and a loving father to three boys, Paul is a member of the respected Edwards shearing family from Mataura, Southland, NZ Sympathy to family and friends
Lex Jury, Shearing Judge, World Shearing Records Secretary and Records Referee for over 15 years at records in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, passed away July 16th 2007 aged 65 -  Sympathy to all family and friends
BEN TEHEIMAUROA SMITH - A total legend. Ben passed away after a long battle with his health, fighting to the end. Ben was part of a eight stand shearing record at Huiruia Station on the east coast of NZ back in the 60's shearing 402 in 9 hours thin gear and all. Shearing the north and south island circuit for many a years and even did a stint of farm managing on Matakana island. Raising four shearers and a woolclasser, Arthur, Tane, Darren, Mike, and Fleur. Sadly missed, gone to see his mates Rakai Tamihana and Lee Martell. Rest in peace Ben. Love and miss you Papa, from William and Michael. xxx
Alan (Curly) Matthews passed away 13th February 2007 after a long illness. Alan was Porky Matthews brother (deceased 2006) and was well known for his trucking and helping with the Shearing Industry in the Esperance area of West Australia. He also had a passion for politics and helped enormously with Liberal party campaigns. Sympathy to family and friends
Graeme Tyers passed away 22nd February 2007 at Armadale hospital, Perth, Western Australia after a long illness. Graeme was the principal shearing instructor for the Australian Wool Corporation for many years and was well renown for his gentlemanly manner and quality instruction. He taught hundreds of people to shear at many venues throughout WA, Eastern states and also spent time in Uruguay and New Zealand.  Sympathy to family and friends
  George Potae - Milton, New Zealand
John (Porky) Matthews Passed away 8th March 2006 after a long illness. Porky was a well known shearing contractor  in the Esperance area of West Australia. He had a passion for the shearing industry, was very comical and had agreat sense of humour. His stories were a joy to listen to. He was well respected throughout the industry in Australia and overseas. He was a fanatical supporter and  member of the Carlton Football Club. Sympathy to all family and friends
Herb Hutchins passed away 15th January 2006 after a long battle with cancer. His funeral is on Wednesday 18th January at 2.00 pm, at the Uniting Church in Hamilton Victoria. Herb continued his passion for training and shearing competitions right up to the latter stages of 2005 and will be sadly missed by all who had been fortunate to come into contact with him over the years. Herb has done so much to develop novice shearers in his lifetime, firstly with the AWC training program and then in the latter years as head shearer trainer with Longerenong College. Over the past two years Herb delivered AWI funded regional coaching in the Hamilton region of Victoria. He will be sadly missed by all. Ross Pollock 
Paul Rose a great bloke, top blade and machine shearer, competition judge, and World record referee. 2 time NZ Golden Blades winner, Originally from Motueka and spent the last 20 plus years farming near Fairlie, Geraldine area. Passed away in October 2005 way too soon, 56 years and 11 months. 
John Ferguson a great shearer from down South who set records and in his later years supported many show judging, was in South Africa with the New Zealand Team in 2000 passed on in early June 2005 and will be sadly missed by the shearing industry
In Memory of Nuku Smiler, Sadly passed on the 18/5/05 in NZ, Another Great Shearer back in the Day.     I Dedicate this Clipping to my Dear Brother. Will Always Love & Remember You!  -  Fleur Smith
Jamie Fleming died tragically near Gisborne in a motor vehicle accident in the early hours of Sunday morning 26 may 2005. he will be sadly missed, and it will leave a big hole in the Te Karaka, Gisborne, East Coast community. Sincere sympathy and condolences to Jamie's family and friends, will miss you Jimmy, your mate Willie Wilson 
Fred Wybrow passed away 26th October 2004 after a long illness, Fred was a shearing contractor in Otago New Zealand and also Badgingarra Western Australia - Creator of Shear Express chain shearing machine - Sympathy to Rhonda and family
Alan Cullen a shearer of note from Euroa, Victoria, passed away suddenly on 29th May 2004. Alan had been receiving treatment for some time but his death came as a great shock. Twice an Australian Shearing Team member and well respected for his excellent work ethic and attitude. Sympathy to his family and relatives
on 5/22/04 5:37 AM, Des Williams at wrote:
One of New Zealand’s legendary shearers from the 1960s, Robert Benjamin "Bing" Macdonald of Waihau Bay, has died at Whakatane [Friday 21 May 2004] after a period of ill health, aged 76. 
Mr Macdonald grew up in the Waikato and worked on farms around Kawhia before becoming a full time shearer at the age of 20. He quickly established himself as a true "gun" in shearing sheds throughout the North Island, as well as a stylist on the competition stage, winning consecutive New Zealand championships in 1959 and 1960. 
With more than 40 open titles already to his credit, Bing Macdonald was firm favourite to win the inaugural Golden Shears at Masterton in 1961 but an accident two weeks before the event left him with a dislocated shoulder. It is part of New Zealand shearing folklore how, with heavily strapped shoulder, he went on to make the six-stand final and finish a close third behind Ivan and Godfrey Bowen of Te Puke. 
Macdonald returned to Masterton a year later [1962] and rightfully claimed the Golden Shears crown, a feat he repeated in 1966. Macdonald’s second victory earned him a trip to Britain where he demonstrated the New Zealand method of shearing to British audiences, including a royal performance for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. He remains one of only six shearers to win at Golden Shears more than once. 
Bing Macdonald was one of the first North Islanders to undertake contract shearing as a large scale business, operating gangs as far afield as the western bays of Lake Taupo and Taihape from his Hamilton base in the 1960s and ‘70s. He lived the last 15 years of his life at Waihau Bay, east of Whakatane, where he enjoyed recreational fishing. 

Kevin Frank Sarre - Victoria, Australia - 1933 -1995 - Sculpture Tribute  - 5 times Australian Champion, 1963 Golden Shears Winner,  World Shearing Record 1965 - 346 merinos. from Lockington, Victoria, Australia

Kevin's proud Children Deanne, Ricky, and Garry

Famous people are usually ordinary people from ordinary places. Kevin Sarre began that way but he became the world’s ‘top-gun’ shearer on narrow shearing combs as his career unfolded. Although he is now deceased the public can now come to the Lockington & District Living Heritage Complex, and from the street, view Kevin Sarre’s sculpture in a glass showcase. 
 Kevin Sarre won’t stop shearing thanks to South Australian Sculptor,  Ivo Tadic of Mount Gambier, an esteemed stone sculptor, the 2 x 2.5 tonne blocks of limestone, cut from the quarry over 100 years ago, were freighted to Lockington and the rest is history.
  Ivo chopped, drilled, cut, filed etc. a life sized sculpture of Kevin Sarre shearing a sheep. On Sunday, November 30, 2003 in Lockington, Kevin’s childhood town, in a prominent position in front of the Living Heritage Complex, Campaspe Shire Mayor, Murray McDonald, unveiled the sculpture for all the world to see. Kevin’s proud children, Garry, Deanne ( from Western Australia ) and Ricky, and four grandchildren were at the event, and would have battled to remain dry eyed when the magnificent sculpture was revealed, then also when Hec Griffiths sang a song that he and Lesley Tracey co-wrote as a tribute to Kevin, called 327 Down the Chute. So good was the song Hec was asked to do a repeat performance during the afternoon tea session. Lockington is so honoured to have reared Kevin Sarre who achieved National Champion 5 times, a Golden Shears Winner in 1963, and World Shearing Record in 1965 of 346 merinos, and we’re proud to be able to look at his monument.  The Heritage Complex is proud to have preserved the achievements of this local man who went on to develop the Tally-Hi method of Shearing, becoming a shearing instructor and teacher whose wool industry contribution is almost unparalleled.
Over 300 people witnessed the unveiling.The bronze plaque simply reads; Kevin Frank Sarre 1933-1995  5 times National Champion  A Golden Shears Winner 1963  World Shearing Record 1965 - 346 merinos.
Mr. J. Wesley Wilton MBE, United Kingdom Secretary/Treasurer of Golden Shears World Council 1996-2003 has passed away on Saturday 15th November 2003.  Current Secretary/Treasurer of World Council, Arthur G. Rundle said “We have lost a true and wonderful friend who will be missed by many.  Sheep shearing throughout England, the British Isles and the World will be the poorer for his passing.  We must be positive and continue to strive and maintain the standards and beliefs Wesley held so dear.  We are the richer for having known him.”  - Sincere sympathy to his wife Ruth and his many friends.
Roger Poytnz-Roberts - South Island, New Zealand - Shearer, Shearing judge and competition compare
Horace Horrell  -  Southland, New Zealand  - A former world ewe record holder
Mac Potae - Kennedy Bay, New Zealand An awesome shed shearer as whoever shore with him will know
Joe Duff - West Australia Originally from Turangi, New Zealand, and for 20 years shearing contractor in Newdegate Western Australia passed away 2002 sympathy to Margaret and family














At the age of 14,Mark Conlan arrived home from school to inform his father that school and him were to go no further

After discussions, Mark was told it was back to school or find a full time job. Mark decided that he would like to try his hand at shearing. Along with brother John he was offered the opportunity in Longreach, Queensland. 
They boarded a train at spencer street Melbourne with some motivating words ringing in their ears. The words of Conlan senior who told them that he didn’t think they would make shearers.
 Perhaps Conlan senior hoped his sons would do something more than enter an industry which had long had a dubious reputation. 
Mark Conlan's life did much to dispel that image. Mark made the long trip to Queensland with brother John and the journey into the shearing industry began. As time went on, Mark and John built a strong reputation as shearers, naturally gravitating towards competition shearing. 
Marks shearing developed to where he was matching tallies with the guns in the sheds, and combined with that rare mixture of natural ability and an older brother in John to look up to, learn from and emulate; 
Mark soon made steady progress through the competition ranks. Mark kept his shearing simple and worked on two main factors that were at the core of his success: Quality and Speed. Mark Conlan possessed  the x factor; a fiercely competitive nature, a winning attitude and a burning desire to reach the peak of his profession. 
At about this stage of his life Mark set some major goals for which he would strive. The first was to set a shearing tally with brother John beside him at Lancefield Victoria On December 4 1979, and using 'narrow' shearing gear, the two brothers shore sheep for sheep to set a record of 426 each in 7 hours and 15 minutes, before running out of sheep.
 This record still remains today, and will never be broken. Then Mark set about achieving his second goal of winning the Australian Golden Shears Title. Mark achieved this in 1981. Where he was crowned Golden Shears Open Champion. 

Mark on being presented with his trophy and sash said “tomorrow I will have a beer and Monday morning I will start practicing to try and win it again next year”. Well practice and win it again he did in 1982. 
After winning the Golden Shears again Mark on being presented with the trophy by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, Mark said “with all due respect Mr Fraser, Its been bloody hard labour”. 
Mark won the title again in 1983 and amid the wide comb dispute in 1984 Mark triumphed again. 
Mark won the last 4 Golden Shears ever held in Australia. He disciplined himself to shear sheep at the highest of quality at pace, so when under pressure in competition the two simple factors would shine through ( Quality and Speed). 

Stan Artridge a shearing instructor and competition judge at this time had this to say: "Incredible shearer Mark, he had it all, every ingredient you’d want in a shearer. I’ve seen Mark shear some incredible tallies and always kept the quality right, there is no doubt Mark was the best shearer in the world through this time”. 
Marks next goal was to prove to himself and the rest of the world that he was the best, and win a World Championship. 
This opportunity presented itself in Perth W.A. in 1986. 
Mark defied an AWU ban on eastern state shearers shearing in W.A to compete. 
Mark dominated that World Championship Final chased hard all the way by a young N.Z shearer by the name of David Fagan. 
Both merino and crossbread sheep were shorn in the final, and Mark spoke later of how determined he was to win. It all comes down to that desire and the will to win, and this was Marks greatest motivating factor. This, and his incredible ability and application made Mark the first Australian to win a World Championship in shearing. 
Mark won many competitions there after including a world merino event in South Africa, and represented Australia on many occasions. He plied his trade in many countries around the world and toured Europe as an ambassador for the 'Sunbeam' company, demonstrating shearing gear and promoting the latest equipment. Mark and John established a shearing competition at Kyneton in the late 80s of which Mark was a chairman for many years. Marks wife Joanne Conlan created a woolhandling competition in conjunction with the shearing.
This competition is regarded by many as the birth place of Sportshear, resulting in national competitions, a yearly trans tasman event against the
kiwis, and the sending of an Australian team to World Championships around the World. Mark ran a successful shearing business out of Kyneton employing up to 50 staff at peak times. 
Marks next goal after making his money was to get out of shearing. With wife Joanne and children he was able to establish himself in farming at Elmore. 
Purchasing a couple of property’s, Mark set about becoming the best farmer he could be.With that competitive nature ,he regularly topped the market with prime lambs and produced the heaviest bullock ever processed at O’Connor’s meatworks. "l just like to stick it up em" he would say. Mark Conlan took considerable pleasure from being able to look back and say that with Joanne and family working beside him and encouraging him, he was able to set major goals in his life and achieve them through shear hard work. 
He did it because of the challenge that it presented. Mark was adamant that the feeling of setting those difficult goals and then achieving them by hard work takes some beating. In shearing, as in life, Mark Conlan set a standard which will be measured for decades to come.