A World War Two veteran and former Otago dairy farmer who “loved to read” has died aged 96.
Peter James Robertson died peacefully in Mossbrae last week. He is survived by his wife of 70 years Penelope.
Peter was one of Holstein Friesian NZ’s longest-serving members, having joined the dairy breed society in 1946.
It was the same year he founded Rannoch Holstein Friesians, after serving in World War Two from 1942 until 1944.
He served in the NZ Army and Royal New Zealand Navy in Italy and was awarded five medals, including the Italy Star.
Peter had a town supply dairy herd.
The nucleus of the herd included animals from the Matanui, Balruddery and Rosevale Holstein Friesian studs.
“Dad grew up on a dairy farm, but he bought his first farm off his great grandfather’s estate,” said one of Peter’s sons James.
“He was a regular in the cattle show ring in the early days.”
“Dad became a certified inspector for traits other than production (TOP) and a cattle judge. The highlight of his judging career was judging the Royal NZ Show,” said James.
The Rannoch Holsteins herd was sold at the dispersal sale in 1989.
Peter was a previous vice president of Holstein Friesian NZ from 1975 until 1976 and an honorary life member.
The former dux of Outram Primary School was an avid reader.
“Mum and Dad were regular users of the Outram and Mosgiel libraries and he served on the library committee,” said James.
Peter dedicated his life to service and giving back to his community.
He was a life member and past president of the A&P Society, a member of the Taieri High School Board of Governors for 11 years, a Mosgiel Rotary Club member for 47 years, on the board of Telford and part of the South Island Herd Improvement Association.
Peter was instrumental in producing a book detailing the first 100 years of Holstein Friesian NZ.
Peter is survived by his wife Penelope; children James, Tim and Sally; nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
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