The loggers’ travel advisor........

by Bill Moore....


....In a recent discussion of worldly affairs, I asked my old friend, Cornelius Burke, travel consultant and bon vivant, if he would condescend to an interview concerning loggers’ travels.
....“Burke of the world,” as he is fondly known in the watering holes of the globe, said he would be delighted to shed his vast knowledge to those of the forest industry so they may better understand the fine art of “where to go,” “how to get there,” and “what to do when you get there.”
....Out in the woods, in a windy snowy afternoon, we found an old cedar windfall to shelter us. Being well clothed in Bone-Drys and Stanfield’s Black Label, we had the following interview:



...Moore: Mr. Burke, what advice can you give a young chap from one of our up-coast logging camps who
....Moore: How are cookhouse condition in the Belgian Congo?
....Burke: Putrid.
....Moore: Are you familiar with logging practices in Burma? How would you view them?
....Burke: Usually from the back of an elephant. And if you are interested in expanding your knowledge of the world, I can tell you why the flying fishes play on the road to Mandalay instead of out in the sea and why the old Moulmein Pagoda is closed on Mondays.
....Moore: In your splendid best seller, “The Danube Caper,” a rollicking account of your bicycling trip down the course of the Danube River and available in all good bookstores, you


do not speak of logging camps. Why is that?
....Burke: The logging camps are on the high road. We took the low road.
....Moore: Have you visited Brazilian forests and just how dangerous are the primitive tribes with their poison arrows to the working logger?
....Burke: Not dangerous enough. The jungles of the Amazon produce 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen supply and how can we expect the Whitecaps to win next year if they can’t take deep breathes?
....Moore: Would you relate your most interesting forest experience?
....Burke: Well there was this Bambi – She fawned all over me…And then there was the time when I found myself sitting on a pass chain at the top of a spar tree and the crew knocked off for lunch.

decides to spend his hard earned money on a trip to some exotic land?
....Burke: Go back to camp!
....Moore: Yes, well let’s say the chap has pulled the pin, and with pockets a-jingle has decided to head for the war-mer climes. May we have your recom-mendations?
....Burke: Tell him to empty his pockets on the floor of the Central city Mission.
....Moore: I suppose one should see Canada first. Can you give our readers a good reason?
....Burke: Yes, it may not be around very much longer.
....Moore: Are there good opportunities for our young loggers in the forests of Russia? Kindly name one.
....Burke: Cookhouse Commissar.
....Moore: How does one address a logger behind the Iron Curtain?
....Burke: In comradely fashion.
....Moore: How does one say “did you get a lot of logs today? In Turkey?
....Burke: Allah giveth and Allah taketh away.
BILL MOORE (left) swaps a few tall tales with well known travel advisor and personality, Cornelius Burke.
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British Columbia Lumberman, November, 1979

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....Moore: With the Canadian dollar dropping and the sun also rising – would you recommend travel in Japan for our young logger? If so, what can they learn about life from the Japanese?
....Burke: If they can turn away from carnal pleasures, they could learn some-thing which could revolutionize logging practices as we know them in the western world. And that is – how to fell trees with one karate chop.
....Moore: When traveling in a strange land – let’s say Afghanistan – what would you advise your client to do if he (or, bless us, she) came down with the shingles or the shakes?
....Burke: Because of _____ costs, there are really no answers to these problems which are entirely satis-factory. If one comes down, I can only recommend that one attempt to nail it down. But, that’s a simplistic view.
....Moore: Do you often have the great pleasure of running into prominent members of the B.C. logging fraternity in your travels?
....Burke: No, I must confess that they seem to avoid me, but once – and before they could escape – I stumbled across Arthur Bendickson, Alan Trethewey and Gordon Draeseke in Moscow. That was nice for me.
....Moore: Looking back now, what do you consider to be the greatest contribution Canada has made to the world logging scene?
....Burke: Well, I’d rather not get into the technicalities of logging, nor be drawn into making individual compar-isons, at this point in time. But, if I might make an observation of a more general nature, I would say that Canada has made a highly significant contribution to world stability and, consequently, to the over-all health of the logging industry by just being there.
For, if you were to imagine Canada as being a non-existent country – if we were simply not here at all – then there would be nothing to stop say the Chinese sailing over and invading Sweden. Fair boggles the mind.
....Moore: If it were left to you – and I’m beginning to wonder if anything should be left to you – from what country would you recommend we en-courage immigration of workers for our forest industry? Tibet? Antarctica?
Burke: I don’t think we can attract potential loggers from Antarctica or Tibet. People in those countries don’t
even know who we are. They haven’t a clue. Marshall McLuhan (who is one of the greatest Canadians the United States has ever produced) said that “Canada is the only country in the world which knows how to live without an identity.” And the late Mr. Al Capone, a one-time resident of Chicago, remarked with some asperity, “I don’t even know which street Canada is on.”
....And the late Miss Marilyn Monroe, of Hollywood, California, remarked vaguely, “I think Canada is up in the mountains someplace.”
....These are but a random selection of quotes from well-known citizens to illustrate what a low profile we manage to maintain.


....Moore: Yes, I see. Now tell our readers – if you can – what country would you recommend our young – or old – loggers and their wives visit on their honeymoons
....Burke: I do not believe that eligible ladies should marry loggers. After all, if singleness is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wives.
....Moore: Well, thank you, Mr. Burke, for this fascinating tour of… and if you will pardon the expression…your somewhat murky mind. Even though the tour may be said to have been conducted in gathering darkness.
....Burke: It sure was swell.
....Moore: Oh – and Mr. Burke –

Keep out of the bight,
Bill Moore

British Columbia Lumberman, November, 1979  
page 43