Loggers’ event still a big hit

Dave Ogilvie

Maintaining a long-standing tradition often is difficult to achieve, but the organizers from the Ainsworth OSB mill in Barwick hosted another successful loggers’ competition at this year’s fall fair in Emo.
Ten loggers from across the district and surrounding area took part in the popular competition in front of the grandstand Friday morning, participating in such events as speed power saw, two-man cross-cut, buck saw, axe throw, pulpwood toss, axe chop, chair carve, tea boil, and the ever-popular “Jack and Jill” event.
The annual loggers’ competition’ has become a popular event not only because logging is such an important industry in the district, but also because the various events demonstrate the skill, strength, and stamina these individuals require to work in the bush.
To demonstrate just how tough some of these events are, several women came down out of the audience and competed alongside announcer Robin McCormick and RRVAS president Emily Watson, in a two-person cross-cut event.
Each woman was matched with one of the male loggers.
Sarah Teeple, a district teacher, was partnered with last year’s champion logger, Kelvin Caul. Together they won the competition, making one cut in an amazing time of 5.92 seconds.
Another aspect of the competition is the promotion of safe logging practices. The judges from Ainsworth assign points to each logger during all of the events.
The winner of this category is declared the “Safe Logger,” and receives a trophy and a number of prizes.
After 25 years of competition, there still was large crowd on hand Friday morning to cheer on their favourite logger and to admire the skills of all the competitors.
The competition was obviously fierce, with a number of loggers making a bid to defeat last year’s champion logger. And for a while, it looked like Jason Caul might overtake his father, Kelvin.
However, after taking two first-place and four second-place finishes in the various events, Kelvin Caul once again was declared the champion logger.
He also received the coveted “Safe Logger” award.
This year’s competition was just a little more exciting with the addition of three “rookies” to the competition.
Although all were attending the event for the first time, these individuals obviously were not newcomers to working in the bush.
“I had a great time,” enthused Darrell Desserre. “I would definitely recommend this competition to others.”
With the addition of such enthusiastic loggers, the annual loggers’ competition at the Emo Fair definitely has a bright future.