Allan Quirk doesn’t give up. Period.
The wool industry is known for being an intensely physcially demanding job and those who dedicate their lives to it are bred tough. Once you get a taste of it, it’s hard to walk away and for Allan Quirk this was true, literally.
Allan started his career as a shearer in 1960, he was share farming with his uncles and they were all shearers too, so he followed in their footsteps and gave it a good crack for 36 years. All that wear and tear on his body eventually took its toll and he broke a disc case in his back and crushed his nerves. His leg was paralysed and he had a long, painful rehabilitation in front of him. This could have easily been a good reason for him to walk away from the wool industry and take on a physically kinder job, but the woolsheds was what he loved, it was in his blood.
To rehabilitate his back he enrolled in a woolclassing course and two years later had his ticket. He has now been woolcassing for twenty years, had both hips replaced and still has a cheeky smile on his face when he talks about the industry that he has made his life.