Lively boss led many to success

Glamis Niederer
Glamis Niederer

Glamis Niederer, a well-known agri-business manager in Southland throughout the 1960s to early 1980s, has died in Queensland, Australia after a long fight with cancer. He was 87.

Glam, as he was known, was born at Gorge Rd into a large flax growing family, with his father a former chairman of Southland County Council. Glam was quite a character in his younger days and known for his hijinks, sense of fun, and practical jokes.

He attended Lincoln College and graduated in the infamous 1948 VFM Group. Other members were Wilson Whineray and Heck King, who both went on to national and international recognition.

Glam graduated as a rural field cadet, a scheme initiated after World War II to train farm advisers for government departments, the Valuation Department, State Advances Corporation (later the Rural Bank) and Lands and Survey.

He worked in Rotorua, Dunedin and Kaitaia for the State Advances Corporation after he graduated, and married Lurline Johns from Belfast, just out of Christchurch. He was heavily involved with Soldier Land Settlements after the war and was promoted to senior farm appraiser and then district appraiser in Invercargill. He was responsible for training many young Lincoln graduates.

Glam was later appointed field officer/financial officer for the Southland Farmers Co-op and moved on around 1970 to become general manager of JE Watson and Company. This became part of the Yates Corporation. He was handpicked by the late Sir Allan Gilkinson, the majority owner of JE Watson at the time, to grow the company.

During his time in the agri- business sector in Southland, Glam was responsible for many young farmers moving to farm ownership by "backing the man", even though they would have had limited finance.

Keith Neylon, owner of Blue River Dairy, says he owes his start in business to Glam, who took a punt on him in the early 1970s.

Glam was heavily involved in national industry organisation and was a past president of the New Zealand Institute of Valuers, the foundation president of the New Zealand Society of Farm Management in Southland and a former President of the Institute of Management in Southland. He held directorship in numerous companies, including Southland Frozen Meat, the last publicly listed company based in Southland, Southland Wool Brokers, Southland Development Corporation, Knight Tailors, Invercargill Wool Dumpers, J E Watson and Company , and Yates Corporation .

In the late 1980s Glam retired to Australia where he managed high- rise apartments in Queensland.

Later in life he wrote a book called From Gorge Road to Surfers.

Glam will be missed by his many business friends and acquaintances throughout the world.

He is survived by his loving wife Lurline, sons Louis, Paul, Mark, Alister, and Hugh, and all his grandchildren.

The Southland Times