Pat McEachern

Pat McEachern

Nanaimo tractor club helps preserve the past

Pat McEachern, president of the Mid-Island Vintage Tractor and Equipment Club, has collected 18 tractors.

Tractors decorate Pat McEachern’s front lawn like gnomes in a garden.

McEachern owns 18 tractors. Four of the machines were brought out onto the lawn for a temporary display, but McEachern said in the next day or two he plans to set up as many as eight for passersby to enjoy.

“Call it an addiction,” said McEachern, 75, cracking a wide grin at his Cedar home.

He is the president of the Mid-Island Vintage Tractor and Equipment Club, a group whose members share a love of tractors and equipment and often take up the challenge of reviving engines that long ago lost their hum.

Club members can be found doing threshing demonstrations at the Vancouver Island Exhibition or driving their machines in community parades, but they also get together to tinker, have fun and enjoy a ‘cuppa joe.’

These days, the project is a Farmall Super H tractor McEachern pulled from under the creaking timbers of the Armishaw barn on one of Harewood’s old farms. It had a seized motor and transmission, a smashed hood and grill and a missing steering wheel, according to McEachern. The aim is to see it run again.

“It’s a hobby club for the members and most of our people are getting on in years, up into my age bracket, but our motto is preserving the past,” he said. “If there hadn’t been this tractor club, that [Armishaw] tractor would have likely went to the metal recycling place.”

Stan Wood, a club member for about a decade, grew up on a farm in the Maritimes. His family started with horses and then bought the tractor.

“I thought, we’re big farmers now, you know,” said Wood, whose brother found their father’s tractor – a John Deere M – in Nova Scotia. Wood bought it, had it fixed up and brought it to B.C. It’s sentimental, he said.

“I will never sell that M,” he said. “I spent many days on that home on the farm.”

The club started in 1999 and now has 36 members. New members are welcomed. For more information call McEachern at 250-616-2962.

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