There wasn’t a dry eye at Olive Tree Cottage shortly before 2pm on Thursday November 28.
As Terry Yule’s coffin left his Tauranga service his only child Trudy, had early arranged to play one of Terry’s greatest race-calls via the sound system.
That was of course the mighty Christian Cullen winning his last ever race at Cambridge Raceway in February 25, 1999.
“It really hit me hard when I heard that commentary. It was so sad. I definitely got goose-bumps,” said his wife of 45 years, Ngaire. “He was a wonderful husband, a super Dad and a really good grandfather.
“Two weeks before he passed away he was walking around the Mount (Maunganui). Cancer is a nasty disease. He will be missed so much,” Mrs Yule said.
Yule, a commentator at Cambridge Raceway and surrounding tracks from the early 1970s to the early 2000s, was also an accomplished auctioneer.
He was renowned for those two famous race-calls on February 12 and 25, 1999 when Christian Cullen was too classy in both the Cambridge 4yo Classic and the Waikato Times Flying Mile.
Two weeks after beating Holmes DG and Homin Hosed in the Classic, Christian Cullen beat Brabham and Bogan Fella to win the Mile in a then New Zealand record 1:54.1.
Terry’s unforgettable calls added to one of the most popular harness races ever staged at Cambridge.
“Terry started calling the Cambridge, Morrinsville and Claudelands trials when he was 17 and it all advanced from there,” Otumoetai-based Mrs Yule said.
The man who took over from him at Cambridge Raceway earlier this century, Aaron White, paid his respects to Terry and his family.
He immediately thought of Christian Cullen and winning at Cambridge almost 14 years ago when reminiscing about his predecessor.
“They were two of his greatest calls and I think many people will remember his enthusiasm and clarity that night. He was a good commentator and a great servant of harness racing in this country.
“Terry was the voice of Harness Racing Waikato. I am sad to hear of his passing and I wish Ngaire and all of her family my deepest sympathy,” White said.
Born in Otahuhu Terry was educated at Hamilton Boys High School and when he left school he became a butcher.
“He lasted six months in that. It wasn’t for him,” Mrs Yule said.
They married in 1968 and Terry then became a real estate agent selling farms. She said Terry got his big break into calling when taking over from Reg Clapp in the Waikato in the early 1970s.
Terry enjoyed bowls and walking in his retirement and loved living in Mt Maunganui. He was cremated.
Terry (71) is survived by his wife Ngaire, daughter Trudy, father-in-law of Paul and Grandad of Niamh, Ciaran, and Maebh. Terry was also a loved brother to Barry (deceased) and Robyn, brother-in-law of Carlo and Uncle to Kevin and Sheryl, Valentina and Alessandra.
A line in his death notice read:
"You didn't want to leave us and we will miss you terribly. At least there is no more pain. Watch over us".
By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)