|Derek and Pat Turnbull retired from farming in 1999 and have a grown up family of six, including triplets. They have 14 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Sadly, Derek Turnbull died peacefully in his sleep on 2nd November 2006.Derek had a successful hobby of athletics, stating that it was never more than a hobby, as he simply enjoyed it and it was his way of relaxation. Since he joined the Veteran Athletic Movement in 1974 he held numerous age group world records in distances: 800m, 1500m, 1 mile, 5000m, 10,000m – as well as the London Marathon. Up until 2005, Derek still held 14 World Age Group Records. He is known as ‘The Fastest Old Man in the World’.Until recently, Pat’s son owned and ran Sherwood Farm, 100 acres of which was retained and renamed Sherwood Forest – which is appropriate, as Turnbull family ancestors came from the Sherwood area in Nottingham, UK. Consequently, Pat’s domestic animals have naturally been called Tuck, Robin, Littlejohn, Marion, etc…!Pat is proud of the 40 hectare Native Reserve on her block and encourages groups or visitors to visit and enjoy the area, with prior arrangement. It is the largest privately owned remnant of this type of native forest left on the Southland Plain.At heart, Pat is a genealogist and has published her family history using her mother’s diaries, mainly for family use. Pat says, “I have a very large garden and my interest there was inherited from my father. We home-hosted for 35 years . We have a very peaceful home and garden. And because we have traveled extensively, we welcome meeting overseas folk.”Pat plays league ten pin bowls when her arthritis allows and both she and Derek belonged to the local Anglican Community. Pat spreads her time amongst many organisations: The Women’s Institute, Winton Church of England, Genealogy Computer Club, NZ Genealogy, CCS, Veteran Athletics, Men of Trees, Forest & Bird, Q.E.2 Trust, Turnbull Clan USA. Derek belonged to many of these organisations with Pat.
Pat says “My heart is here, within what Derek and I have achieved, and I shall carry on. I am going to continue with our life’s work here on Sherwood Forest but I’ll need help. In the past we have hosted young folk from all over the world, allowing them to use us as a haven for a rest from their world travels. In turn, they work in the mornings and then explore the local countryside – on Derek’s bike or whatever – and I feed them well!”
Pat is Patron of CCS Disability Action, Southland
2009 Life Member of Southland Veteran Athletics Assn. Enviromental Awards in 2003 (with Derek) and in 2009. 2008 World Award Turnbull Clan Assn. Ten Pin Bowls Handicap World and Nat. gold medals.