A pioneering farm in Tutira, Hawke's Bay, that has stayed in one family for generations, has reached its centenary.
The Chrystal family is celebrating 100 years of farming in the Tutira region. A 23-year-old Gerald Chrystal moved to the land, now along State Highway 2 a few kilometres north of the local Tutira School, back in October 1919.
"My father was a Christchurch man born and raised, he fought in the first world war at just 17 and five years later made the move north and settled here in Tutira," Chrystal's son Barney Chrystal said.
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By Chrystal's own admission he was lucky to survive the war having survived what Barney called a "miracle shot".
"It's quite amazing really, during the war he was sent back home after about two years after being shot in the neck, but the bullet was fired downward and into his neck and into his chest," Barney said.
"He was lucky to survive because it all seemed to miss all his vital organs and it wasn't until a little later on he was on a hospital bed and ended up finding the bullet in his pocket."
With luck in his pocket by his side, he returned home he decided to make the move to Hawke's Bay where he leased 1600ha of land from the Guthrie-Smith family, making him one of the very first to farm the land.
"The land wasn't much when he got here in 1919, it was just all shrub land and no house or anything to live in so for the first couple of years he lived in a tent and a couple of huts they whipped up and later he built the house, even with no building experience which still stands to this day," Barney said.
"He wasn't very experienced in the field himself because when he asked for the lease he told them he only had a month of experience in farming."
But he says that the work his father did has led to the farming and agriculture growth that makes the Tutira region thrive.
"He was one of the first to settle here and after a couple of years there were a few more, but now the region is full of farms and makes the place what it is."
Ten years after moving to the farm Gerald married his wife, Marjorie Pirani, of what would go on to be 42 years and went on to raise five children, four sons and a daughter.
After Gerald's passing in 1971 the farm was handed down to his four sons, who further developed it into four farms two as dairy, one sheep and beef and another was sold in the 1980s to forestry.
Barney continues to operate his sheep and beef block, just as his father did when he first farmed the land.
"Most of the early years were spent clearing the land and that had to be mostly by hand so the only farming that could be done was sheep and beef."
This weekend the family look to mark the centenary celebrations by all coming together to remember where it all started.
Most of Gerald's and Marjorie's descendants will be in attendance with some from not only all over the country but all over the world (five children, 19 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren, 21 great-great-grandchildren).
As part of it, a plaque will be laid on the farm in the family cemetery where Gerald and Marjorie are laid to rest along with other family members.