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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




Although for some years there had been shearing championship competitions run at Royal Shows in New Zealand and Australia, there was no official national championship in either country. In 1957 the Wairarapa Young Farmers' Club organised a shearing competition at Masterton in conjunction with the local A. and P. Show. The experiment proved so popular that the organisers decided to institute a national championship contest. Little was done about this idea until July 1960 when the public interest shown in a small shearing demonstration, arranged in Masterton by Federated Farmers and the Department of Agriculture, encouraged the YFC to persevere with their proposal. The Golden Shears International Shearing Championship Society was formed later in that year, and in March 1961 the first Golden Shears Championship was held at the War Memorial Stadium, Masterton. Altogether, nearly 300 shearers from New Zealand and Australia, including Godfrey Bowen, took part. Since then the Golden Shears Championship has become an annual sporting event. In February 1963 a special Royal Invitation Shearing Carnival, which the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended, was held at Fraser Park, near Wellington.

Since 1961 shearing championships have been instituted in Australia and Great Britain; and it is the intention of the Golden Shears International Shearing Championship Society to establish Commonwealth and, later, World Championship contests. Already the United States, Russia, and other countries are showing interest in the sport.

The following are the winners of the New Zealand Golden Shears Open Championship since its inception:

1961 Ivan Bowen (Te Puke)
1962 R. B. McDonald (Waikato)
*1963 A. L. Williamson (Ohakune)
1963 B. Waterson (Kaukapakapa)
1964 S. Symon (Gisborne)
1965 B. Quinn (Alexandra)

*Royal invitation carnival