One of the stalwart families of the 58 years of Golden Shears has celebrated a significant success today with the winning of the Golden Shears veterans woolhandling event in Masterton.
The winner of the over-60s event was 60-year-old Bo Paku Clark, of Masterton, who had had only minimal experience as a competitor but who has been a volunteer resident stadium woolhandler at the Golden Shears for 36 years, including Golden Shears Open championships finals won by such multiple champions as David Fagan, Colin King, John Kirkpatrick and Rowland Smith.
Aunt Hinerau Mason was a resident woolhandler from the start of the Golden Shears in 1961, and Paku Clark says: “She ordered us to all go to work in the woolsheds.”
With only a handful of competitions of her own, in a career that has taken her to the UK, Norway and North America, along with years now as a woolhandling judge, she still needed prodding to have a go on shearing’s most famous stage.
She was “pushed” again, by fellow judge Morri Gibbs, to enter the veterans event only hours before the heats on Thursday.
“She came up to us and said I was entered into the veterans,” said the eventual event winner.
The final on Friday night was to be a traumatic time,Paku Clark just finishing as she saw the collapse of just-finished fellow finalist and former Golden Shears Open woolhandling champion Mii Nooroa, also of Masterton.
“He was sitting watching me finish,” she said. “He dropped right in front of me.”
As Nooroa lay yesterday in Wellington Hospital he was named t hird placegetter.
The Veterans shearing event was won by 62-year-old Russell Knight, of Apiti, clasping his first red ribbon, 38 years after he was runner-up in the Golden Shears Senior final.
Among those in the Veterans final was Hugh McCarroll MNZM, who at the age of 78 shore with the Lister handpiece he received as winner of the Golden Shears Intermediate shearing championship in 1967.