Farewell to respected farmer, community leader, family man
A PROUD farmer who played a key role in Norco and on several Northern Rivers councils has passed away.
Barrie Patch was born on December 8, 1936, and died on June 17, 2020.
He has been described as a dedicated family man and community leader who was passionate about farming and agriculture.
Former Norco chairman Warren Noble said Mr Patch was a hard worker.
He said he was greatly respected for his dedication to whatever task he took on, including representing Norco at the Wollongbar Experimental Farm for 15 years.
Son of Donald and Elsie Patch, Barrie was the brother of Athol and Graham and was introduced to life on the North Coast after his parents settled in Spring Grove when he was just 18 months old.
He was deeply involved in the community.
Mr Patch served on the Casino Co-op for four years, and the Norco board for 21 years.
He was also a councillor on the Tomki and Woodburn Shire councils and was a foundation member of the Richmond River Council.
He represented Norco on the Casino Beef Week Committee for 12 years.
Coming from a deeply religious family, Mr Patch had always been drawn towards the practical nature of farm life, working on the farm Fairview with his brother Graham after he left school.
Mr Patch married Sandra Mary James on May 26, 1962 and they had four children ‒ Wayne, Joanne, Christopher and Lindsay.
Their marriage prompted a move to Casino, which is when he started work at the Casino Co-op.
The family obtained a 200-strong herd of Guernsey and Brown Swiss cattle.
Mr Patch was most famously known as a water diviner, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Charlie Patch, and claimed to have found water in 2000 places.
He also developed a keen eye and love of photography which allowed him to communicate the beauty he saw in the world.
But later in life it was his family that brought him the most joy.
He had nine grandchildren and loved to show them farm life.