Unity in the form of oats

The Gore District’s rich agricultural soils and climate created the perfect location for growing most of the country’s grains for the better part of the past 150 years.

Oats were a major part of that growth, and in 1893 Fleming’s opened its Creamoata Mill in Gore, the biggest mill of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere at the time.

At its peak, more than five train wagons a day were filled with the processed Creamoata and sent for packaging. Even Sir Edmund Hillary (pictured) made sure he was well stocked of the famous oats while mountaineering.

An icon immortalised

Said to be inspired by both a boy scout and a war time soldier, Sgt Dan strikes a youthful militant-type pose, with an angelic face.

What started as an advertising promotion soon turned into an icon known to be based in Gore.

A large Sgt Dan was positioned on the corner of the building of the mill, overlooking operations and becoming a landmark on his own accord.

As the years went on, the Flemings Creamoata Mill began to wind down, with production moving to Australia in 2001.

Sgt Dan remains on site at the old mill, now a home to a stockfeed business, to remind locals and travellers alike of the iconic brand.