John 'Smithy' Smith dies

John 'Smithy' Smith remembered for work for the wider agency industry

GOLF TEAM: Pictured in 2013 was the John Ellis & Co team of Trevor Linke, John 'Smithy' Smith, Dean 'Jumbo' Jenkinson, and the late Robert Pike (team leader).

GOLF TEAM: Pictured in 2013 was the John Ellis & Co team of Trevor Linke, John 'Smithy' Smith, Dean 'Jumbo' Jenkinson, and the late Robert Pike (team leader).


Former Hamilton agent, John 'Smithy' Smith, died last week.


John 'Smithy' Smith, who died last week, is best known, aside from his stock agency businesses, for his willingness to volunteer to help the wider agency industry and his community.

The 76-year-old had a career in the stock agency business that included stints with Grazcos and Dalgety Farmers before he joined up with fellow Dalgety Farmers colleague and friend Peter Franklin to form Franklin Smith in Hamilton.

The pair started the business in 1983 with Mr Franklin providing the merchandise background and Mr Smith as the livestock person.

Mr Franklin said the business grew and they put on extra staff and opened offices at Balmoral and Coleraine.

"Smithy was a really good mentor without being too hands-on and people looked up to him," Mr Franklin said.

After 17 years the pair were approached by IAMA with an offer to buy the business.

The offer was good enough and the pair accepted.

In 2000 the pair dissolved their partnership in the business and Mr Smith joined JM Ellis and Co in Hamilton as a commission agent before retiring in 2014.

The industry knows Mr Smith as a person who was prepared to take up roles to benefit the whole industry.

Mr Franklin said Mr Smith would be remembered for getting involved to "make things better than they had been before".

Mr Smith was the last president of the then Victorian Stock Agents Association before it was merged with the NSW Stock and Station Agents Association to form what became the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPA).

Current ALPA southern region chairman Warren Clark, Hamilton, said Mr Smith was instrumental in getting the new association formed.

He said Mr Smith was deservedly made a life member of ALPA in recognition of his work.

Livestock agent Dean Jenkinson, joined Franklin Smith IAMA in 1997 before crossing over with Mr Smith to JM Ellis and Co in 2000.

Now a director of JM Ellis and Co Mr Jenkinson said that after Mr Smith retired in 2014 he became a mentor and "sounding board".

He said the team at that time was young and Mr Smith was someone to talk to at regular catch-ups.

"I also took over a lot of his clients and he liked to know how they were going," Mr Jenkinson said.

Hamilton agent Craig Pertzel said he joined Franklin and Smith in Hamilton in about 1991 as a young stockman and auctioneer.

Mr Pertzel said he considered himself lucky to work under Mr Smith.

"That team were all good guys and John was the best bloke," Mr Pertzel said.

Mr Smith is survived by wife Barbara and children Peter, Joanne and Melinda.

The funeral will be held on Thursday June 13 at 10am at the Hamilton Exhibition Centre, Hamilton.


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