Rally raises $30k for choppers

Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club's Anthony Hampton (centre) surprises crew from Canterbury Air Rescue Helicopters with $30,000 raised from the club's recent Wheat and Wheels Rally. PHOTO STRUAN CHRISTIE
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Members of Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club raised $30,000 for Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust.

It was proceeds from their Wheat and Wheels Rally in April, and a sold-out Ferguson FE35 tractor raffle.

Rally committee chairman Anthony Hampton, who hosted the two-day event at his Lauriston farm, presented the final tally to crew from the rescue helicopter service in Christchurch on Saturday.

‘‘They were very surprised, they weren’t expecting that much at all,’’ Hampton said.

‘‘Very surprised and very grateful.’’

Hampton, who understood the funds would be used towards new gear for the service, said 43 club members travelled by bus to Christchurch for the occasion and were treated to a tour around the rescue service facility.

‘‘We had a cup of tea then they showed us around the whole premises, right into the workshops, where the Flying Doctor plane was kept, everything.’’

He was impressed with the efficiency and well-organised space on the rescue helicopters.

‘‘We looked through the newest helicopter, and man was it a well-equipped helicopter.’’

They also visited Christchurch Airport’s crash fire unit, and saw a demonstration of a fire engine with a water spray cannon.

They had lunch at Spitfire Square and then visited Air Force Museum of New Zealand at Wigram.

ACTION ON SHOW: Action from around the grounds at the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club’s wheat and wheels rally at the Lauriston property of Anthony Hampton over April 6 and 7, 2024. Photo Toni Williams

Hampton said the success of the rally and the funds raised would not have been possible without the large amount of community support it received.

‘‘It was a team effort, as far as the club goes, a lot of people from the club were involved,’’ he said.

‘‘And a lot of organisations within the area gained from it. Without the help and the sponsorship that we got, from the different organisations, the funds wouldn’t have been as high to give to rescue helicopter.’’

The rally, on April 6 and 7, attracted about 5000 people.

There were more than 700 types of vintage and modern machinery including pivot tractors, tractors, motorbikes, cars, trucks, traction engines, military displays and farm machinery of varying sizes.

There were onsite demonstrations including the harvest of 3ha of Discovery milling wheat, planted especially for the occasion.

Among the displays was a celebration of 100 years of IH Farmall, which started production in 1924 and wheat harvested with vintage headers.

The event had a host of volunteer groups helping including members of Lauriston’s school community, Lauriston fire brigade, Methven’s Lions and Land Search and Rescue.

WORKING SMARTER: Displays and demonstrations featured during the two day action. Photo Toni Williams
ON PARADE: Parades of machinery of every age and stage were on show. Photo Toni Williams