Shearing legend in Hall of Fame

By Alana Christensen

Shepparton’s John William Harris has been celebrated for his 65-year contribution to the wool industry, inducted in the Australian Shearers Hall of Fame on the weekend.

Born in Mansfield in 1913, Mr Harris grew up in Merton before moving to Taggerty and later Shepparton.

Shearing from Hughenden in northern Queensland to Murnpeowie in South Australia, as well in New Zealand and across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, he also won a number of competitions.

He set many unbeaten shed records, including shearing of 5000 merinos at Warbreccan Station in south-west Queensland in 1942.

Known far and wide as ‘Taggerty Bill’ to distinguish himself from a cousin of the same name, Mr Harris was somewhat of an anomaly in a shearing shed — he was not a drinker or a smoker.

Mr Harris’s son, John, said his father was a very calm man and also helped teach him the art of shearing.

‘‘He shore throughout the Great Depression, the war and the 50s,’’ he said.

‘‘He always said he’d had a good life shearing and he’d never knock them around because they were his livelihood.’’

Mr Harris was one of five inductees into the Hall of Fame, along with Euroa’s Brian Morrison.

Mr Harris died in Euroa in February 1997.

For more, see next week’s Country News.