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New Zealand Jersey Breeder Alex “AJ” Tosland Passed Away
December 8, 2016

New Zealand Jersey Breeder Alex “AJ” Tosland passed away recently. Fellow breeder Cliff Shearer shared a touching obituary to the Hawera Jersey Club.

It is with profound sadness I have to inform you that our Hawera Jersey Club Patron Alex ( A.J ) Tosland passed away yesterday aged 87.

First of all Alex was a family man. He loved and supported his whole family down to the littlest great grand child. And every one of them loved and adored him back. Alex always had a smile and a handshake for everyone he met.

Secondly Alex loved the Jersey cow and everything to do with Jerseys. He bred them, registered them, classified, showed and judged them. He was a life long member of the Hawera Jersey Club holding every position that the club has over the years. Alex went to every meeting and event that the Club held and enjoyed every event.

Thirdly Alex was a very good farmer. His farm always looked a picture and the cows were a credit to anyone. Over the years the family added more acres to the home farm and every time they did the herd increased in size and the herringbone pit got longer and longer. If he had carried on for another twenty years none of us would have been surprised to see the farm { and the pit ] reach Okaiawa. Nothing could keep Alex off the farm. He would be out there working every day no matter what and still was involved on the farm right up to the last few weeks. And even then still running things from his bed.

Alex was a senior Classifier with NZJCBA and JerseyNZ and much enjoyed the classification tours that he went on to all parts of New Zealand. He was a very well respected Judge and was the official judge for all the Hawera Jersey Clubs, judging contests. He and his wife, Gloria attended many Jersey AGM’s all over New Zealand over the years. In short of it had anything to do with Jersey’s Alex was likely to be there.

One his greatest honours was having his herd included in the 2011 World Conference tour and having visitors from all round the world come and inspect the Lexland herd. The photo was taken at Lexland/Derriland during the conference visit. Alex really enjoyed attending the World Conference tour in North America many years ago and had many happy memories from that tour. He often mentioned the kindness shown to him by the Canadians in driving him around to see the various herds. He talked about Russell Gammon driving him half way accross Canada to see cows.

His proudest achievement was that all four of his children were also Jersey breeders and farming. Bulls that have so far come from the Tosland families herds include Kelland KC Speedway [ bred by son, Kelvin ] one of the top bulls in New Zealand and will have tens of thousands of daughters all round the world. Linan Dynamo Virgil [ bred by daughter, Linda ] one of the highest rated bulls of the 2016 crop of new sires. Derriland Matador [ bred by son, Derek ] a widely used sire on AI a few years ago. And I’m sure there will be many more over time.

Outside of the full life on the farm and the family activites and Jersey events Alex also played bowls and took a leadership role at the Egmont A&P Show for many years. He attended every working bee at the Showgrounds and enjoyed all that was connected with showing. The Tosland family showed their Jersey’s at the Egmont Show for many decades and laterly at the Stratford A&P Show.

Those of us who have been fortunate to be members of the Hawera Jersey club have always enjoyed Club meetings. The business side of the meetings often didn’t take too long. The best part was sitting round afterwards for a couple of hours talking about cows, breeding, farming and life in general. The Club has been fortunate that we have several raconteurs and Alex was one of the best. Of course being the oldest he had the most stories. He had a story about every breeder, classifier and judge in New Zealand from the last seventy years and also every neighbour or friend he had ever had. Some of those evenings were so much fun no one wanted to go home. In recent years many of us have looked on Alex as the father figure of the club.

None are happier than those who find their right place in life. Alex Tosland spent every minute of his life doing the thing he most wanted to do and most loved doing with the people he most wanted to be with. He will be sorely missed.

Our deepest sympathies go to all of the Tosland families at this time.

A service for Alex at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Princes Street, Hawera, on Saturday 10 December 2016, commencing at 11.30am, after which he will be laid to rest at the Okaiawa Cemetery at 2.00pm.R.I.P.


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