Thomas Berwyn Sterling

26/12/1926 - 11/04/2014

He was a good friend and mate of mine, and he regularly spent much time at my shed, always looking to see what he had missed from the previous visit. Not afraid to criticize either.

Would then come in for a coffee and talk for an hour.

Retirement plans for Berwyn were not to play golf, bowls or sit in a lounger. He Just slowed down.

In latter years he was a fix-it man helping other people, there was nothing he could not repair or mend in either wood or steel. He loved the workshop, in fact the last job Berwyn did was repair a pair of Massey Ferguson hay baler needles for me and I picked up a couple of days before his passing.

Latterly he got himself involved in the Kihikihi museum and also the High View Retirement Village, where he was living.

We had many away trips together, attending auctions, shed raids, salvaging tractors, stationary engines and picking up old memorabilia and collectables.

Probably the most notable being the salvage and loading up by hand of two Bamford Diesel stationary engines from Welcome Bay in Tauranga.

I leant so much off this guy, and he was always willing to share his past life-time work experience with farming and machinery. We shared tractor and machinery magazines. Vintage club newsletters and we talked most weeks over the phone.

Berwyn was a man of many parts, a farmer, milked cows, showed Scottish highland cattle ,won many prizes horse eventing, speed boat racing, charter launch operator and agricultural contractor. In 1970 he purchased the first over 100hp wheel tractor to come to the Waikato, a two wheel drive X T 190 Allis Chalmers, and owned nine combine harvesters in his time.

Sterling Harvesting is still in business to-day and operated by his son Blenddyn.

The Otorohanga Vintage Club has a very diverse age group of members, from late teens to mid eighty's.

Some advice to the younger generation, always be prepared to be a good listener as there is so much to be learnt off the older generation from their life and past work experience.

Many have come through the working horse era to the present day machinery era, but sadly they are slowly passing on. Berwyn Sterling is one of them.

By Neville Davison


TRIBUTE: Harcourt Rawlings

Born 23 May 1929 – Died 30 December 2010

I was always drawn in by Harcourt's unassuming manner, his amazing knowledge and the stories of his experiences.  I don't think I ever heard the same story twice, and if I did, it didn't matter – I enjoyed it just the same.  Harcourt was involved in countless community activities over the years.  His initiative and ingenuity played a major role in his vast and varied contributions to the district which could never be measured.  In my opinion, Harcourt was an icon in the district.  In his time spent with us in the Otorohanga Vintage Machinery Club, he seemed to always have something on the go.

Whilst I've been reflecting through past Club newsletters, it's easy to see that Harcourt was always in the thick of it with Club projects and events which he wouldn't have missed for the world.

I've always enjoyed my time with Harcourt – his modesty, his sense of humour and his dedication.  It was an absolute privilege to have known him.

          - Malcolm Boggiss