Shearing gang’s support for grieving dad

Angus and Ratapu Moore with their children. Photo: Supplied.

When the son of one of their own was killed in a recent road accident, a local shearing gang was left heartbroken.

Angus and Te Moore have been in the shearing industry for 16 years and have run a contracting business based in Seddon for the last five.

Their 12-person shearing gang is like a family, so when one of its members lost a son in a road accident it hit them all hard, says Te.

To show their support, the gang and farmer rallied round and donated all the proceeds from a day’s shearing to their colleague.

Now he’s repaid that kind gesture by shouting them all tickets to the Farmstrong Comedy Night Show at Awatere, Seddon.

Nationwide rural wellbeing programme Farmstrong is putting on two comedy shows for Marlborough’s farming community.

It has been a trying time for the team and getting the tickets was a great surprise.

Having something to look forward to helps, says Te.

“We’re really looking forward to going out for a night together and just having a laugh and a few beers. We didn’t even know he’d bought us tickets, so it was a nice surprise.”

The Seddon farming community has been through a lot in recent times with earthquakes, drought and Covid-lockdown, so the shows are well-timed, she says

“This is a great chance to come together and celebrate our resilience as a community.”

The shows feature an all-star line-up of comedians Nick Rado, Melanie Bracewell, Tevita Manukia and Tarun Mohanbhai.

Farmstrong project lead Gerard Vaughan says the ups and downs of farming can take a toll on people and the organisation is there to help,

“We help farmers cope with the ups and downs of farming by sharing things they can do to look after themselves and their teams.

“Encouraging farmers to get off the farm, have a laugh and socialise at events like this is one of the best ways we can do that.

“Our message to farmers is grab your mates and neighbours and treat them to a cracking night of comedy for a great cause.”

Te says that having worked in the farming industry for so long, she knows how important it is to be open about pressures that come with the job.

Their team are right behind Farmstrong.

“It’s definitely raised awareness amongst the farmers and shearers we work with about the importance of looking after yourself.

“We’ve noticed people are a lot more open to discussing the pressures they’re facing or listening to others who might be under the pump.”

“The friendships and connections you build are a big part of dealing with those challenges.”

“That’s why Farmstrong putting on these shows is a great idea. It strengthens those relationships.”


Show details

9 October, Woodbourne, Woodbourne Tavern, doors open 6.00 pm, show starts 7.00 pm

10 October Seddon, Awatere Memorial Hall, doors open 6.00 pm, show starts 7.00 pm.

Tickets are available online at Type Farmstrong in the search to find the event. Tickets are $20.

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