Taranaki man killed in tractor rollover crash in Australia

Lyall Ernest Muggeridge died in a tractor rollover crash in Victoria, Australia, on March 18. He was farewelled by family and friends in Kaponga on April 8.

SUPPLIED/Stuff

Lyall Ernest Muggeridge died in a tractor rollover crash in Victoria, Australia, on March 18. He was farewelled by family and friends in Kaponga on April 8.

A Taranaki grandfather will be remembered for his big heart and the love he had for family and friends, following his tragic death in Australia.

Lyall Ernest Muggeridge, who had the nickname Worzel, died in Wyuna East, in Victoria, on March 18 after the tractor he was driving rolled.

Formerly of Kaponga, the 56-year-old had been living and working in Australia for several years.

At his funeral service at the Kaponga Rugby Club on Friday, youngest son Cameron Muggeridge used one word to describe his father in terms of both size and character – “big”.

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He was known for his big laugh and voice but also for his love of people, as he was the kind of person who could meet a stranger and make a lifelong friend, Cameron said.

He said his father had a big work ethic, living up to the “first in, last out” ethos, and often clocked in 100-hour weeks.

But Cameron said his father’s biggest sense of pride was for his seven children and their achievements, including their independence.

This had given his father the confidence to chase his own dreams, Cameron said.

“He was a man of big adventure and Australia was his biggest.”

Tributes from his Australian employers were also posted on Facebook in the wake of the tragedy.

Auswide Silage, where Muggeridge worked from October 2015 to January 2021, described him as being more like a part of the family than an employee.

He would be remembered as a “gentle giant” who made friends wherever he went, and always had a smile on his face.

“Lyall loved to talk about his family and of good times back in New Zealand,” the post said. This included him often sharing photos of Taranaki Maunga.

At the time of his death, Muggeridge was working for Monk and Son Ag Services, who described him as “genuine, caring and an all around great bloke” and said the company was still coming to terms with his loss.

After his funeral, Muggeridge was laid to rest at Manaia cemetery.

He is survived by his children and 11 grandchildren.

Shepparton News, in Victoria, reported that police continued to investigate the crash and would prepare a report for the coroner.

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