Newspaper Article 2020 – An extraordinary rural adventure

An extraordinary rural adventure

by Paul Campbell

An extensive autobiography by the scion of a Hawke’s Bay farming family, with extensive connections and history from Southern and Central Hawke’s Bay through to Fern Hill and beyond has been launched, celebrating some seven decades of rural life.

Bruce Galloway, now 78, was born the youngest of four children, in 1942. His parents owned a 530-acre sheep and beef farm south of Dannevirke, at Waiaruhe. In those days, it was home to a school and a dairy factory. Both have since gone. He went on to own and work 11 different farms across the North Island.

Bruce also was a bit of a pioneer Hawke’s Bay airman and his book, The Flying Farmer, is an extensive account of aviation adventures as well as a detailed account of breaking in farms and overall life on the land.

Ray Curle of publishing house, Wild Side, described the book as ‘a New Zealand farmer’s memoir – like nothing you have read before.

“A fair dinkum Kiwi bloke who broke-in farms the hard way had heaps of misadventures and close calls, including crashing his Cessna 182 aeroplane and just surviving to tell the tale. Here’s an excerpt from his book.

“We had been told the wind was gusting 25-30 knots so it would be a real bumpy ride out over the Taringamotu Rodge. We had a good height. I was then hit with the most violent bit of flying I have ever done. It was all over in seconds, and we were on the ground.

‘There was an awful lot of avgas pouring everywhere, and fire was my big concern. I feel the big fellow was with us that day, and we all survived. Ross Harvey flying the old Hiller 12E helicopter used all and a bit more of his experience to do three trips to bring us down to the hospital. I came down last, and they tied me on the platform on the outside of the chopper. I was told later they tied me on with a rope and tied the blanket down with baling twine. The two of us in front got knocked around pretty bad.

‘My injuries were pretty horrific, my left foot was 95 per cent severed, and other things were not good.’

‘There is more than enough in this autobiography of a hard-working adventurous cocky to keep everyone who is fascinated with the history of rural New Zealand up all hours of the night,” says Mr Curle.

Copies of The Flying Farmer, illustrated by some 130 photographs are available from the author. Contact Bruce on 09 439 5495.

Photo caption – Bruce Galloway signs for a book launch customer

Original digital file


Date published

June 2020

Format of the original

Newspaper article

Creator / Author

  • Paul Campbell


Hawke's Bay Farming Lifestyles


  • Ray Curle
  • Bruce Galloway
  • Ross Harvey

Accession number


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