Business Rural North Winter 2021

6 | NZ CENTURY FARM » Drysdale Station: Hugh & Pru Lilburn Station immortalised in famous overture Photos: Drysdale Station looking north over the woolshed. The historic rimu homestead as it stands today and an earlier historical photo. Richard Loader I mmortalised in the Drysdale Overture, Drysdale Station is nestled in the Turakina Valley, just a few kilometers west of Hunterville, and has been part of the Lilburn family journey for over 125 years. Composed in 1937 by Douglas Lilburn, New Zea- land’s most famous composer of classical music, Drysdale Overture celebrates the family farm and was dedicated to his father, Robert who settled the land in the 1890s. Molded by the hills in the valley, Douglas Lilburn’s Overture added a special New Zealand footprint to classical music, reflecting the bush, birdsong, streams and waterfalls. Forever associated with such world-acclaimed music, strength is added to the land’s ancestral value, which has endured four generations of custodianship. Today Drysdale Station is owned and operated by fourth generation Hugh Lilburn and his wife Pru. The farm encompasses 2500-hectares of steep hill country that ranges from 300 to 700 metres above sea level, with only 100 hectares of cultivat- able land. A further 485 hectares 35 minutes away in Feild- ing provides valuable support land. “We run a traditional sheep flock,” says Hugh. “We have about 10,000 ewes and 4000 hoggets, and winter between 900 – 1000 two-year-old beef steers that we fatten and sell.” The Lilburn journey commenced in 1890 when 24-year-old Robert bought his first parcel of land in the upper Whangaehu Valley of the Wanganui district. His brother William followed from Scotland three years later and took up a neighbouring parcel of Land in the Turakina Valley. William later transferred his land holding in Tu- rakina to Robert who built a magnificent homestead of solid rimu on the property, naming the station Drysdale, after his uncle who had raised him in Scotland. By 1920 Robert farmed some 9000 acres across the two Valleys but in 1922 Robert divided the prop- erty between his two eldest sons. Jack remained at Drysdale while Ritchie took the Whangaehu Valley. Retiring to Wanganui, Robert left Jack and his bride Edith to live in the beautiful rimu homestead he had built. • to page 8 Asset Protection • Business • Family • Property Specialists in: Proudly supporting Drysdale Station (06) 345 8049 Bullock & Associates Lawyers 364 SH51 Hastings 06 878 9866 Proudly supporting Drysdale Station for many years with quality Dog Food for their hard working dogs We pride ourselves on providing our customers with great service, value and a vast product range. You can depend on us to 'see you right' for all your building needs! Central ITM Feilding P: 06 323 3400 A: 1537 Waughs Road Central ITM Marton P: 06 327 5458 A: 40 Racecourse Avenue