Would you believe –
An Olympics of Loggers’ Sports?


sports a true Canada-wide coverage.
....A look farther afield into loggers’ sports is quite interesting. The United States has several fine areas of the event and American loggers are coming to our Canadian games in ever increasing numbers. Australia and New Zealand have always been noted for their axe-men and several of their people are now working in the woods of B.C. and competing in our annual Loggers’ days. Jube Wickheim is now actively org-anizing a B.C. team of loggers to go to Tasmania for the 1974 World Festival of Chopping. Our team will compete with some of the world’s finest choppers and the event will be of international interest.
....Japan is noted for its log birlers and a team of Japanese men have each year come out to the PNE to compete at the Festival of Forestry games. We look now with interest to Finland for competitors and to Spain for some of its famed Basques to give us some great chopping competition.
....Logging sports have come of age. No longer do a few get their pleasure from watching the thrills of the record breakers, but now people everywhere are coming to realize that the word “logger” signifies a new sporting chal-lenge and a new crowd pleaser for action.
....So, would you believe an Olymics of Loggers’ sports? Quite a few people do believe it and the public is the beneficiary. Out of the forest around us will come a steady line of loggers ready to show their skills and abilities - not unlike those Greeks of olden times - a comparison to ponder over.

....The Greeks had a word for it — “Olympics”— a testing of the skills between the competitors from many lands. It’s a far cry from the days of such ancient Greek gatherings to the modern day competition of loggers’ sports. But there are comparisons, and those comparisons of skill, timing, ability and status only show that today’s champion loggers in logging sports must be considered in the realm of the word — Olympic.
....Loggers’ sports are not new to our people. The natural energy that has always been required of a woodsman has quite often found its extra release in the competition of sawing, chopping, clim-bing and log rolling. However, in more recent years, here in B.C. the sport has been organized under the banner of the Canadian Loggers’ sports Federation — a duly chartered organization to bring standard rules and regulations for the competitors to follow. Where a few smaller towns held their own loggers’ sports days in the past, all using varied rules—today a dozen areas of this province meet throughout the winter and plan in detail their co-ordinated summer loggers’ meets.
....Some are small, such as Gold River Day on Vancouver Island. Some are large, such as the Pacific National Exhibition’s Festival of Forestry — where a quarter of a million people attend over a two week period. The champions, the Armand Didiers, Ron Hartills, Owen Carneys, the Brian Hurliheys and a host of others, follow the circuit of Terrace, Port Hardy, Sooke, Squamish and the other areas of Loggers’ Days and compete for the honors. Young boys and old ladies watch in wonder as their home town boys vie with the champs and as it does sooner or later, a new name breaks through. Some of the finest sportsmen I have ever seen have been among these champion loggers. They never hesitate to approach a young lad and show him the tricks of the trade. This forest industry should


know that it has some of its best ambassadors in the champion loggers.
....No sports event, however, is worth the endeavor unless it is put together by intelligent and hard working corps of backers and doers. The success of loggers’ sports at places like Mission, Prince George, Woss Lake and the oth-ers I have mentioned has come about by such people in those towns and communities. People like Jube Wickheim, Ken Jones of Hope, George Mathers of Prince George, Gary Payne of Woss and others, never tire of meetings and organizational work. Their days are long leading up to their Loggers’ Days and the thanks are sometimes a bit casual.
....Canlog, as the organization is known, is now satisfied that there is a good interest by the public in B.C. and that the forest industry is behind it. The group now look to distant areas and lands for more competition and interest. Really what better way to show a real Canadian image than the skills shown by the men of the woods. And if the intruders of time such as automation have taken the hand saw from the faller and replaced it with the power saw—or taken the wooden spar tree from the high rigger and replaced it with a steel tube—why fret? We will continue to show and to keep in the public’s mind the tools that were used to give us a forest industry.
....On a recent trip to Ontario I had the pleasure of meeting many forestry people gathered at the Ontario Accident Prevention Association’s annual meeting in North Bay. I found the delegates were full of questions about B.C. loggers’ sports and from this interest has sprung the Ontario Loggers’ sports Association with Real Rouseau as its chairman. Directors of the association were chosen from all over Ontario and this group will co-ordinate with the Canlog group in B.C. with the eventual hope that Canada-wide competitions are not too many years away. We hold good hopes that Quebec and the Maritimes will also form such associations and give loggers


Keep out of the bight,

British Columbia Lumberman, July, 1972