Vale Terry Burke

Vale Terry Burke

Tributes flow for former Tamworth stock and station agent

Caitlin Reid@CaitlinReid201

See:  8 Mar 2022, noon

Featured Image: VALE TERRY BURKE: Terry Burke has been described as “one of the industry’s finest” and a “true gentleman”. Photo: Supplied. Gratefully acknowledge ‘The Land’ newspaper.

TRIBUTES are flowing for long-time Tamworth local Terry Burke, who is being remembered for his remarkable life as a stock and station agent and his love for the racing industry.

Mr Burke died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on Sunday February 27 at 82 years old.

Described as “one of the industry’s finest” and a “true gentleman”, he was a founding partner of respected livestock and rural property agency Burke & Smyth, a past president of Tamworth Jockey Club and life member, and a much-loved mentor to many.

Born in Tamworth in 1940, Mr Burke attended school at Christian Brothers College in East Tamworth.

In 1971, Mr Burke, in partnership with John Smyth, established Burke & Smyth in Tamworth, and grew the business to become an integral name in livestock, rural property and real estate and a breeding ground of successful agents.

Incredibly, he was an active agent for 63 years, and over that time sold thousands of sheep and cattle and numerous substantial rural properties.

But perhaps most of all, he was a mentor, and his son Simon Burke said he was always there to quietly offer advice if needed.

“Dad always gave people opportunities,” he said.

“Some of those people today are still in the agency industry, some have moved away, some even became priests.

“He was generous with his time and always happy to share his knowledge or advice with people if they needed it. A nice conversation with Terry Burke could make the difference to your day.”

The Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association described him as “one of the finest auctioneers to ever sell in a Tamworth saleyard and an excellent judge of sheep and cattle”.

A respected figure in country thoroughbred racing, Mr Burke was president of the Tamworth Jockey Club for seven years, and was later recognised as a life member.

He also served for 25 years on Hunter and North-Western Districts Racing Association and was vice president of Country Racing NSW for three years.

In 2011, he was presented with the prestigious Simon Nivison award for services to country racing at the NSW Country & Provincial Racing Awards.

Terry’s youngest son Michael said while Sundays were for mass, Saturdays were set aside for racing.

“As was the case with his Catholic faith, Dad inherited his love for racing from his mum Mavis and his father Pat Burke, who was President of the Tamworth Jockey Club and also his grandfather Jack Burke, who served on race club committees in the western districts,” he said.

“His dedication to the racing industry saw dad serve 27 years on the Tamworth Jockey Club, with seven years as president.”

A loved husband of Katie, Terry was also a loving father and father-in-law of James and Teresa, Simon and Tanya, Michael and Larissa, and a grandfather.