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Shoalhaven celebrates rich timber history

Shoalhaven’s rich history will be revisited and recreated during a bigger and better Shoalhaven Timber Festival on November 15 and 16. Source: The Milton Ulladulla Times

The festival has outgrown its original home at the Dunn Lewis Centre and this year is moving to the Milton Showground where a wide range of activities will be on offer.

“There’s heaps going to happen,” said organiser Jim Butler.

The action kicks off with the South Coast Timber Worker of the Year Awards in the Milton Ulladulla ExServos Club on Friday, November 15.

Ten awards will be presented on the night to recognise high school students, hobby woodcraft and wood turners, retired timber workers, and people involved in all aspects of timber operations including the oldest and longest-running bush and forestry contractors.

Award categories include junior and senior high school student woodworker of the year, wood turned of the year, hobby timber worker of the year, sawmill worker and bush worker of the year, which both also have junior sections, and timber worker of the year.

Australian Forest Contractors Association representatives will announce local inductions into the association’s hall of fame.

While there will be plenty of honours and awards presented there will be lots to do at the Milton Showground with displays including old and new timber harvesting methods, vintage machinery, wood carving, chainsaw operations, chainsaw racing, cross-cut saw racing, bush poetry and children’s entertainment.

A professional woodchop even is being organised for the day, and there will also be a whip cracking exhibition from a person who will teach whip making and conduct whip repairs.

He will also teach whip cracking, and put his new students into a competition to test their new skills.
During the day Paul Carriage will make a bark canoe, while Noel Butler will show off his carving skills.

A heavy horse team will demonstrate the skill involved in log and timber hauling, while there will also be displays showing different fence post splitting methods, techniques for operating a Lucas Mill, and much more including stalls selling sought-after carved and crafted items.

Butler said the event was all about recognising the important role the timber industry played in the region’s development.

“This place used to thrive on the timber industry and the dairy industry,” he said.