A livestock auctioneer's gavel is like their right hand, from tapping it to draw the crowd's attention prior to the sale to the bang when the hammer falls after a lot is sold.
The one belonging to Nutrien SA stud stock manager Gordon Wood holds special sentimental value, given to him in his early days on the rostrum by Trevor Pomery, Avenue Range.
At the European breeds multi-vendor bull sale at the Naracoorte Showground about 15 years ago, Mr Pomery noticed that Mr Wood was borrowing former Landmark stud stock manager Malcolm Scroop's gavel.
So he set to work making him one from a 100-year-old-plus jarrah post, which he had sourced from the Redbank homestead at Lucindale.
Mr Pomery even added a 1919 penny coin to the top.
"When I was searching on the internet getting some ideas to make the gavel, I found some information that 1919 was the year that a person in England first used something resembling a gavel," he said.
"I was lucky enough to inherit a big jar of pennies from my grandfather and one of the first pennies I pulled out was a 1919 one."
Mr Pomery, who was a sales rep with TruTest at the time, had first struck up a friendship with Mr Wood when he was working in merchandise for Landmark Murray Bridge a few years earlier.
The next time they caught up Mr Pomery handed over a wooden box containing the handmade gavel.
"It was an amazing gift. I love the story and that it is made by someone that is dear to me," Mr Wood said.
In ensuing years it has stood up to countless ram and bull sales, with the only mishap when another auctioneer borrowed it at a ram sale near Keith a few years ago.
To most people it is just a bit of wood, but the biggest kick for me is that Gordon treasures it so much.- TREVOR POMERY
"He kept whacking it on the penny end and I kept turning the gavel around so he wouldn't, the next whack the penny disappeared into the straw," he said.
"I went home that night quite despondent thinking to myself 'where do you find a 1919 penny?'"
A fortnight later his wife Sue found him a replacement coin on eBay, which was reattached to the gavel.
Not long after the stud breeder found the original penny.
"It has a bit of character. I have dropped it (the gavel) on the concrete and chipped a bit of timber off it and then sanded it back to try and make it neat again, but I don't ever want another one," Mr Wood said.
Mr Pomery - who is now the regional sales manager for Norton Livestock Handling Solutions - says it has been wonderful to watch Mr Wood's auctioneering career take off.
"To most people it is just a bit of wood, but the biggest kick for me is that Gordon treasures it so much," he said.
"It has sold millions of dollars worth of livestock."
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