Alec puts in half a century behind the wheel of a tractor

Tractor driver Alec Herkes has been working with the same family for 50 years, and at 80, is still helping out on the farm at Marlefield
Tractor driver Alec Herkes has been working with the same family for 50 years, and at 80, is still helping out on the farm at Marlefield

Yesterday was a big occasion for 18 farmworkers at Springwood Park in Kelso.

Hosted by the Border Union Agricultural Society, the long service awards luncheon is looked upon as one of the most important days of the year for farmers.

The unique relationship between employer and employee in the agricultural sector engenders loyalty on both sides not seen in many other workplaces.

It was a particularly amazing event for tractor driver Alec Herkes, who has worked for the same family at Marlefield, near Kelso, for more than 50 years.

He received his gold medal and certificate from the Duke of Roxburgh at the end of a superb ceremony, which highlighted the many contributions – and particular idiosyncrasies – of the recipients.

There are many reasons why the relationship between farm owner and farm worker is so successful, but Alec said: “The most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing, and I certainly have.”

The Southern Reporter caught the event on Facebook Live ... see the video here, or look out for this week’s Southern Reporter for the full story.