Max Balharrie, the doyen of pig sales, dies at 90

Max Balharrie dies at 90


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LAST SALE: Bruce and Max Balharrie at the final pig sale in Ballarat for Max and Bruce Balharrie Pty Ltd on December 12, 2007. Photo supplied.

LAST SALE: Bruce and Max Balharrie at the final pig sale in Ballarat for Max and Bruce Balharrie Pty Ltd on December 12, 2007. Photo supplied.

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Another chapter of the old Ballarat saleyards closed last week with the death of Max Balharrie.

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Ballarat pig sales doyen Max Balharrie died on Thursday, aged 90.

Mr Balharrie died on the same day as his 66th wedding anniversary to wife Betty, who survives him.

In a career spanning 60 years, Mr Balharrie was known for his passion for pig sales and his clients that sold through the Ballarat yards.

His career began at Crawford Dowling before he struck out with son Bruce on their own in Max and Bruce Balharrie Pty Ltd for 20 years.

He was determined to keep working until he turned 80, which he did, and retired in 2007.

That same year, Bruce joined Landmark where he remains.

Bruce and wife Janine's son Ned is a third generation stock agent from the family, working with Landmark at Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Michael Beaumont, Ballarat Meat Company, said he had bought a lot of pigs from Mr Balharrie over the years.

"Max was always happy when things were going well, but was the opposite when things turned the other way," Mr Beaumont said.

"Credit to Max, he drove through the Mallee every Sunday organising what pigs were coming to Ballarat that week."

In an article in Stock & Land in 2007, Mr Balharrie said a strong market needed to contain "enough good quality stock to attract a quality buying field, and vice versa".

"And if either one falters then the other usually follows," he said.

A minute's silence in Mr Balharrie's honour was held before the start of the Ballarat Associated Agents store sale on Friday.

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