A birthday
for Festival
of Forestry

....Twenty years ago this fall the writer was invited out to the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver immediately after the annual three-week fair had closed its gates for another season. The

grounds were naturally in confusion with
the tearing down and cleaning up of booths, sideshows and bunting and paper.
....I was there at the request of the then-directors of the PNE to look over a possible future site for a Loggers Sports Show in the summer of 1966. Would such a show attract people? How much room was needed? Was it safe – could a flying axe cause a problem in a bleacher full of people?
....We found an area – and twenty years later it is still the same one – that had been Teen Town for the young folks. It had a bowl effect and a nice raised sloping area that would handle excellent vie seating. Now this was not the first logging show in B.C., for Squamish and Sooke had both run some fine local shows. But it would be the “big one” in Canada. And it was.
....A small group of us had some definite ideas about the lack of com-munication between the public and the people of the forest industry – loggers in particular. Too many times we had read of loggers being accused of all forms of devilry and of being cousins to the large hairy animals of far away forests. We felt a proper image of the logger was long overdue and we were out to show it.
....The small group was composed of Jack Moore and Del Pratt – then the president and vice-president of the International Woodworkers of Amer-ica. Then there was the Dean of Forestry at the University of B.C., Tom Wright, and Oszkar Sziklai from that same fine faculty.
....From the B.C. Institute of Technol-ogy, Victor Heath joined us. Lyle Dagg, who was then with Crown Zellerbach

Maurice Sauve, grants were placed at our disposal to bring the top graduating foresters – and those doing Masters and PhDs in forestry – from world wide forest  universities  from  far –off places

such as Argentina, Nepal, South Korea, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Fin-land, Chile and many more. We actually covered all forest faculty countries except the USSR and the Republic of China in a period of five years, and brought their young foresters to our B.C. forests.
....These were intensive tours made possible only by the support of most of the forest companies in our province. They loaned us aircraft, ground trans-portation, bunkhouses and guides.
....I’m sure those programs made a lasting impression on so many of those fine young people, some of whom now head up forestry programs in their native lands.
....So FoF moved on through the years. We held excellent Loggers Breakfasts in downtown Vancouver, aided by the always helpful HooHoo Club of Van-couver. We held Forestry Concerts in Stanley Park sponsored by the Stan-dard Oil Co. And we held two dandy Woodchoppers Balls at the Vancouver Hotel. The latter was what was known as a cultural success but a financial bust. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all, Barney!
....We were doing what we could do and we received good support from so many quarters. The committee kept a relatively low profile and from time to time new faces would appear as older ones disappeared.
....The Canadian Loggers Sports Fed-eration was formed under the umbrella of FoF to do two things. To protect the rights to Canadian Championship events at our logging shows and to put together an insurance system that protected our loggers as competitors at logging shows if they had an accident.
....I recall we went through sixteen insur
by: Bill Moore
Canada was with us. Lyle was one of the finest, real, public relations men in the forest industry and we were all saddened by his passing so young.
....Pat Carney, then a forestry writer for the Vancouver Sun and now Canada’s Minister of Energy, was a stalwart of our committee. We had some talented people from the forest machinery companies in Jerry Holmes of Finning Tractor, Gordon Wilfert of Esco and Bill Hughs of Bute Towing. We also had the loyal support of B.C.’s forest minister – Ray Williston.
....There were others, of course, and we spent the next ten months planning our first loggers show to be called “A Festival of Logging.” One vivid memory I still have of that final night of that show will always be with me.
....We had borrowed an old “solid-tired” log truck from logger Archie McCoomb – and for the big finale had put a few logs on it and told our competitors to climb on board.
....It was dusk and with the lights out and a spotlight on the old truck, out came the loggers weaving at the crowd of several thousand. Chria Arnet, our champion climber was one of the lads, and it was a great send-off for Loggers Sports. We had a winner and a great platform to show off our loggers and their skills.
....Thus was the Festival of Forestry born, but it had a counterpart in a program of showing our forests, forest industry and methods and forestry people to an assortment of young foresters from all over the world.
....With the generous assistance of the then   federal   forest   service   under
30    ·     BRITISH COLUMBIA LUMBERMAN                   SEPTEMBER 1985

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ance companies before we found one willing to take a chance on us.
....The above is interesting for as we went along through the years we found that very few accidents happened to our contestants. This possibly proving that the skillful logger, properly taught the use of tools and how to do the job, is the safest logger. We wonder why then aren’t we teaching every logger that there is only one way to perform on the job? The right way will always be the only way in this dangerous profession of logging.
....Canlog was formed and over the years a rule book for loggers sports events was compiled. It has been revised many times and is now the stan-dard for all logging sports. Organi-zations in towns and logging communi-ties joined Canlog and meetings are held each fall and winter to determine the championship events and dates of each area’s logging show.
....Among those who have contributed so much to the Canlog program are Jube Wickheim and his family. Jube is the former world birling champion and a true entrepreneur of the logging sports business.
....Many others have done so much. The Harts of Whonnock – bless ‘em – Judy and Gord have put in countless days andc weeks in organization work. Al and Jean Boyko of Alberni have also been great contributors.
....One of the really great men of the sport has been Peter Holmquist of Vancouver. Untiring in his efforts, backing and actual competitiveness, Peter was and is always there when needed. The list is long of those who have done so much to promote the sport.
....Enough can’t be said for the likes of Dick Herrling, Owen Carney, Bryan Couture, Wayne LeBlanc and the daddy of champs, big Ron Hartill – a true champion.
....Turning back to the forest tours for our visiting foresters, we found that
after covering those forest nations of the world we needed to change.
....Our funds became thinner and our concept of what was needed also changed. We could see that if our secondary school teachers and young teaching faculty people better under-stood our forest’s total picture, the reflection on so many young people would be of real worth in a learning experience.
....So we changed the content of our tours and put the emphasis on tours of about twenty persons, made up of sixteen teachers, four graduating foresters, and a tour leader. We have, to date, put over seven hundred people through thesxe intensive forest environment tours.
....The forests and the forest industry need a lot of explaining to lay-people. Clear cutting methods, slash-burning techniques, labor-management relation-ships, silvicultural methods and the rela-tionship of stream to forest are all diffi-cult subjects to discuss in a normal class-room. But taken to the area of concern – and with the help of the forest ranger, logging foreman, federal fisheries officer, union representative and others – the problems are so much easier explained and understood.
....In all the teacher tours we havec sent out – to Quebec, Prince George, the Queen Charlotte Islands and to dozens of other spots – we have had nothing but thanks and appreciation for the complete information the people of the tours take back to the classroom.
....Just the discussion of slash and its unsightliness is worth a tour in itself for this subject is not understood and looked upon as a horror to those who have never had it explained. No discussion is bypassed on these tours and we are only satisfied when the teachers run out of questions.
....Without the help of so many of the foresters from industry and government these tours would not be as well received as they are. There are too

many names to list, but I think of people like Bill Dumont and Melissa Hadley who have given so much time, and of course a special bow to one of the best, Gerry Burch.
....This is the mix of Festival of For-estry. A simple goal has always been in front of us. “To inform the public of the importance of the forests, the forest industry and the people who work in and tend those forests across Canada.”
....What is FoF up to now? Glad you asked. There’s a reciprocal foresters’ tour of China and B.C. coming up where our group of twenty four will be hosted in China’s new forests this fall. We will host our China forester friends in May, 1986, when Expo is on, as an added attraction.
....Since 1977 we have sent a team of chainsaw loggers to Europe to compete in the World Chain Saw Contest for Loggers. We have met with loggers from over 20 nations in these forays as reported by your humble correspon-dent in past issues of the B.C. Lumberman.
....Now it’s time for a meeting to discuss new plans for the future. Which reminds me – a note of gratitude to Gary Payne for his years of juggling our meager financial figures – and of course to the best darn organization secretary that any outfit this side of the Pecos ever had, the nice Patricia Thackery.
....Festival of Forestry will be twenty next year – and we will celebrate with our biggest show ever. Coming to you live and direct from the stage of Expo 86, daily for the duration of this great event in Vancouver will be our loggers in daring-do of their forest skills. Drop by and say hello to the lads – and give them a cheer when they do their stuff – and – Oszkar –

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore