Glenreagh woodchop was huge
By MEL MARTIN
WITH so many Glenreagh residents having put their heart and soul into organising yesterday's Timber Festival, Charlie Hauville was thrilled to see such a huge turnout.
"It's great to see so many people," Mr Hauville, who was heavily involved in the organisation of the event, said.
"It's brought the town together, and everyone's really excited.
"We've got a great valley and we want people to know what we've got here.
"Now we know that we're right for next year."
Thousands of visitors enjoyed a full day of entertainment, including tug-of-war, chainsaw carving, timber displays, vintage cars and motorbike displays, a whole lot of kids' activities, and of course woodchopping competitions with world champion David Foster, who was equally impressed.
"Look at the turnout, it's fantastic," he said.
"Small communities need to take the bit in their hands and do things like this. I congratulate them and I hope they can really build on it."
Mr Foster, who had spent the previous evening getting to know the locals at the Golden Dog Pub, holds 183 world titles.
But having developed back problems, Glenreagh's Timber Festival could have been one of the last competitions he takes part in.
Not that contemplating retirement means he'll stop enjoying himself.
"My philosophy is, every day above ground is a good day," he said.
The sound of woodchopping was accompanied by the whistle of Betty the steam engine who also had a workout, with continuous queues of people waiting for an opportunity to ride behind the historic locomotive.
She's also done her bit for the town since she was brought back into action.
"Betty's been very good for Glenreagh," volunteer Peter Dickson-Smith said.
"She's made a big difference. All the businesses in town have benefited."
Proceeds of the day will go to Hearstart, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, and of course, Betty.
"The Westpac Helicopter and Heartstart are essential out here," Mr Hauville said.
"They're brilliant organisations."