Thresh prince of Waseca

By Geoff Lee

July 28, 2016 12:00 AM

An old tractor, like this one operated by Waseca area resident Chris Makey, will be used to operate the 1944 tresher he and its owner, Allan HInde, are entering to help set a new Guinness World record in Austin Man. July 31.

Make hay while the sun shines.
That’s what Waseca area farmers Allan Hinde and Chris Makey hope to do while setting a new world threshing record in Austin, Man. on Sunday at what’s called Harvesting Hope: A World Record to Help the Hungry.
As many as 125 threshing machines must operate simultaneously for at least 15 minutes.
“The chance of doing this is a once in a lifetime chance to be a part of something this huge,” said Hinde prior to making the 1,000 km journey.
Hinde and Makey will join hundreds of other farmers from all across Canada and the United States in Austin Man. with a vintage Oliver Red River Special thresher.
It’s got a 26-in diameter cylinder and a 46-in wide body.
Hinde bought it three years ago from a chap in Maidstone and figures it was made in 1944 or 1945 in Battle Creek, Mich.
He bought the thresher as is and he and his pal, Makey, haven’t done a lot to it since the purchase.
“It was in reasonably good shape, so we didn’t have to do a lot to it to get it to run,” said Hinde, who gets parts from wrecks.
“Last night, we went to a place near Paynton and picked up one little piece for it that we needed —somebody had an old machine out there that wasn’t being used.”
The Red River thresher is made of unpainted galvanized steel and will stay that way as long as Hinde and Makey work together on it.
“We want it to look good in its working clothes,” joked the 73-year-old Hinde.
He and Makey hooked up for the ride to Austin over their mutual interest in tinkering with old machines.
“I’ve always been interested in this stuff I guess—like fixing and restoring equipment,” said Makey, who lives on a farm and is a foreman for the Rural Municipality of Elton.
“This is just a good hobby and it’s easy when you’ve got a good friend to do with it too.”
Hinde is not a antique collector, but he has loads of old tractors that he operates and maintains on his century grain farm overlooking the Battle River.
“I got lots of old tractors around,” he said.
“I can’t touch the new stuff,  I like the old stuff.”
He said most of the engines he’s running are more than 30 years old and some of them are 50.
Hinde also has a 1984 combine in working order.
“It’s a lot of work—we got to appreciate what our forefathers done for us in this country,” he said.
Hinde and Makey will be like kids in a candy store in Austin where each thresher will be driven by a steam engine, tractor or stationary engine built between 1890 and 1950.
That was their mindset witnessing the 2013 threshing record of 41 machines operating in unison at the Old Tyme Harvest in Langenburg, Sask.
“It was an awesome day,” said Hinde, who relives his excitement in the telling.
“They figured they parked 2,000 cars and they figured there was between 5,000 and 6,000 people there,” he said.
“It was interesting day because they had stage entertainment; they had go carts for the kids—they kept the kids entertained all day.”
He noted they had three steam engines running threshing machines and three old Rumely oil pull tractors.
“They had old time tractors and antique autos, so they had done a pretty good job of it,” said Hinde.
He and Makey are chomping at the bit, so to speak, to be a part of threshing history in Austin.
The goal there is to beat the current record of 111 machines set earlier this summer at the St. Albert Curd Festival in Ontario.
The attempt will get underway at 4 p.m. July 31 with hundreds of people helping out.
“We are told it takes five people to operate the machine,” said Hinde, who noted one or two people are needed to throw sheaves of wheat into the machine.
The competition will wrap up what is shaping up to be the threshing event of a lifetime for the two aficionados with their families cheering them on.
Harvesting Hope is a joint partnership of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and the Manitoba Agricultural Museum and will take place in conjunction with the 62nd Manitoba Threshermen’s Reunion & Stampede.
Hinde pre-tested the machine during the Canada Day celebrations in Maidstone that has a tradition of putting candy and coins in a straw pile for kids to dig out.

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