The Expo

Vancouver has played host to one of the century’s greatest “people events” – Expo 86. Its success is not only meas-ured in the millions of people from all over the world that have passed through the turnstyles, but more importantly by the unanimous expressions of “well done” by those visitors.

by Bill Moore
industry to Moms, Dads, Grannies who have relatives or friends somewhere in this wooded Canada. Those skills shown at a loggers show, be it Thunder Bay, Prince George or at Expo, bring the same expressions of delight to the crowds watching. And at Expo those faces could be Japanese, Swedish, Australian, Korean, English and so on.
.... Looking back over the years of its first announcement, the ground break-ing, construction and organization, one would admit that its success did not come easy. There was opposition all the way and from many fronts. Van-couver’s City Hall was certainly not impressed with such a project at the beginning. Fortunately the city fathers came round in time.
....So with a multitude of problems, some pretty good common sense pre-vailed and a world class event was brought about by good management and hard working people.
....The theme of transportation was well presented throughout the near six months of the affair. This covered such exhibits as great steam locomotives, the Concord jet, paddle-wheelers, a wonderful highway of vehicles past and present and a Japanese bullet train, just to name a few.
....What was a great hit amongst a score of great hits was the Festival of Forestry’s Loggers Show as presented by Jube Wickheim and his young logging competitors. Situated in the heart of Expo, on the waterfront, the show exemplified to our visitors what so much of Canada is all about – forests and forest workers.
....The Loggers Show was fortunate to be at the B.C. Pavilion area, and was therefore at the center of all the great daily gatherings at the pavilion complex. There was always music and some sort of celebration held in this complex daily, so the Loggers Show was the beneficiary of those crowds.
....It was a real break for Festival of
Forestry to be a part of such a world event. And our teachers’ forest tours and loggers sports programs will be enhanced by the considerable pay-ment for services we gave to Expo.
....Not enough can be said for the Wickheims – Jube and son Fred. Their handling of the entire event was done in their usual first class manner. Jube is an excellent organizer and announcer, and on those days he could not be there to announce he had that bon vivant from Squamish, Al McIntosh at the mike.
....The two seventy-foot spar trees had to be sanded down several times as they stood. About 100 cords of alder chopping blocks were used and the chaps went through eight axe throwing targets.
....It is difficult to find saw-filers that can file up a six-foot hand bucking saw these days. But Gunny Brown of Port Alberni is an old timer at the business and the loggers could zing his saw.
....Daily crowds of 2,500 would gather for each of the four shows. With a daily 10,000 folks from near and far watching our boys of the forest. The figure after a few months gets quite staggering. It is very safe to say that during the World’s Fair over one million visitors watched the Loggers Show at Expo.
....It has now been 20 years since loggers sports were organized here in Canada under the Canlog Federal Charter. In towns, cities and logging communities all across our land, volunteer committees have given of their time to bring a bit of the forest
....Our young loggers played on a stage to the world and the applause was beautiful and well deserved. There is something just a bit different from watching loggers at sport and, say, track and field. Possibly a feeling of closeness or comraderie that the viewer sees in the competing logger as he climbs a spar or is surrounded by flying sawdust or spins the dickens out of a tiny 14 inch cedar log in a pond.
....Maybe the viewer is seeing an image of the logger at his work while he watches the competition. Whatever it is, it has never ceased to thrill this inlet logger.
....What is also interesting to those of us who have been a part of Canlog through the years is the names of some of the young competitors today. At the Expo show, Mike Herrling was great at axe throwing and chopping. His dad, Dick Herrling of Sooke, won ac silver in the European Loggers Com-petition in Norway in 1980 in power saw bucking. Eric Holmquist and Fred Wickheim are top all around com-petitors and have shone at Expo. Their dads were Peter Holmquist, the buck-saw pullin’ heavyweight, whose jokes have been known to put him in jeopardy with his friends from time to time. And of course Jube Wickheim – the daddy of all log birlers.
....Lee Didier and Mike Boyko have fathers that, in the case of Armand Didier, was always one of the classiest tree climbers. And Mike’s father, Allan, performed his loggers talents before the Queen.
....Dale Hartill is a fine chopper – one
A13                                                                                                                 British Columbia Lumberman September, 1986

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - (. page break )

might say here “a chip off the old block,” for his dad is Ron Hartill, the most decorated of our champions. Ron was a Gold Medal winner in the 1977 European Loggers Competition in Finland.
....These young men are only a few of the real fine loggers to perform at Expo. Everyone gave the competition their all and they were all a credit to the name logger.
....Which brings me around to a subject I have spoken about before and probably will again a few dozen times. Our forest industry has not been noted for its (ah, Bill, let’s be nice now) magnanimous public relations efforts, and could use, as they say, some good press.
....I’ll put it this way. Beer companies use our loggers for some smart video and print advertisements. A lot of money is spent on such ads depicting a high rigger topping a tree or log birlers spinning a log in a pond. There is sort of an excitement or glamour to such pictures that undoubtedly the public takes kindly to and therefore buys that company’s beer – it’s called marketing. With such an example of assured success, why couldn’t the marketing forest companies make use of our good lookin’ young champions by tying them to various forest products. Why couldn’t they endorse cedar siding or household tissues and papers?
....Let our bulls-eye loggers give the message of being careful with cigarette butts and campfires when traveling in the forests. If Smokey the Bear can say it, so can our lads – with sincerity – for their jobs are on the line.
....Our logging competitors can well talk about safety-on-the-job, because like any champions they know they have to have properly sharpened tools to compete or work, and they have to use them correctly. The accident frequency record of Canlog contes-tants is extremely low, giving proof of their awareness and alertness while on the job at loggers sports.
....Youth today look up to sports idols and emulate their heroes. To take nothing away from a baseball Carter or hockey’s Gretzky, the image of a young professional logger who is top dog at loggers competition would not be a bad example for any young fellow to look up to. A little promotion of our sporting chaps could help some of those admirers to look to the woods for a career like their hero comes from. But maybe our forest industry is too

shy to promote our logging champions. Could be that the powers in the towers might feel they would have to give a million dollar bonus to the champs, like the hockey and baseball heroes get. Well gentlemen, I would not worry about that, but, then if they can sell your products for you, or cut your safety costs, they could be worth a trip to Hawaii, maybe, at Christmas.
....With the competition for forest products never keener, and with costs and returns nudging each other as they have been doping, our industry needs all the help it can get.
....Expo 86 has shown over a million people just how marketable our young champions are. The crowds love ‘em and they have had a wonderful world wide audience cheering for them.
....Forest communicators (that’s public relations, folks) take notice. If the Marlborough Man can sell cigarettes – why can’t the Canfor man sell two by fours? If the Colonel can sell fried chicken why can’t High Rigger Roger sell Crown shopping bags? Or “An MB cedar fence is my kind of fence,” says Mike Boyko, Champion Logger.
....Come on you marketing fellows, the spinoff from the Expo Logger is the B.C. Logger. Market him – he can be sold!

Keep out of the bight,
Bill Moore

A14                                                                                                                 British Columbia Lumberman September, 1986