fbpx
Print this page
Saturday, 02 February 2019 18:46

Wilson farewelled in Hamilton

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Over 1000 people attended the funeral service for former Fonterra chairman John Wilson. Over 1000 people attended the funeral service for former Fonterra chairman John Wilson.

Former Fonterra chairman John Wilson was farewelled in Hamilton today by family, co-op colleagues, farmers and friends.

Over 1000 people attended the funeral service at Mystery Creek. Wilson passed away on Monday.

He stepped down as Fonterra chairman in July last year on medical grounds.

Wilson’s predecessor at Fonterra, Sir Henry van der Heyden delivered one of the eulogies at the service.

He started with a personal message from former Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings, who joined the co-op nine months before Wilson was named chair-designate. Spierings left the co-op in September last year.

Van der Heyden told the funeral service that he spoke to Spierings, who was “deeply saddened by John’s passing”.

“He spoke to me and remembers fondly the day he arrived in NZ, he was met by John and who typically took him straight home to the farm and family. 

“From that first day, he says he always felt at home and welcomed on the farm.”

Van der Heyden says Spierings had deep respect for Wilson’s vast knowledge about the co-op.

Van der Heyden, who was asked by Wilson’s widow, Belinda to deliver the eulogy, recalled his first experience with Wilson’s leadership quality.

It was during a NZ Dairy Group conference in mid 1990s.

“I had just been elected to the NZDG board and attending a conference; this young red head stood up with a voice twice the size that he was; full of confidence but also full of common sense.

“His delivery was plain, simple and articulate; what impressed me most was his love for the co-op.

 “I can still see him now making a huge impression on everyone in that room. 

“I came away from that conference knowing that I had met a future leader.”

Van der Heyden says there’s lot the dairy industry must thank Wilson for; he always put farmers first.

The funeral was also attended by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and opposition agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy.

An eulogy was also delivered by Wilson’s close friend and Tatua Co-op chairman Steve Allen.

A private cremation was held after the service.

More like this

Fonterra’s big break

Former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden believes the co-operative will come out a stronger global player post-COVID-19.

Ag’s big break coming soon

Former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden is predicting “a big shift” in New Zealand agriculture in a post COVID-19 world.

Featured

$700m for freshwater clean up

The Government has announced a $700 million fund to support the primary sector and other groups in meeting new clean water standards.

Synlait's milk price drop

Canterbury milk processor Synlait has reduced its 2019-20 forecast base milk price by 20c to $7.05/kgMS.

 

Overstayers irk farmers

A new law preventing the eviction of tenants from rental properties is causing a headache for some dairy farmers.

Katie’s parting shot

Outgoing Federated Farmers president Katie Milne has hit out at Wellington-based government officials for their lack of understanding about farming.

Feed shortage looming large

Parts of the Waikato are starting to recover from the drought, but the availability of feed remains a concern, says DairyNZ’s Sharon Morrell.

Southland on the brink

Southland is teetering on the edge of a bad situation, according to DairyNZ’s lead consulting officer in the South Island, Tony Finch.