2006 Wood Days

The preparations had been going on for quite some time but it really kicked into gear on Thursday the 9th November. Scott, Marni , Bailey and Ashlee had arrived the night before and we started loading tools, tents, camp ovens and gear onto the truck and tractor, and horse gear onto the trailer.  The caravan was prepared and Chris, Peta, Matthew, Cameron, Mikayla, Sam, Donna , Nicolas, Thomas and Lucas arrived with all their gear so we headed out to Milltown and unloaded everything and set up the kitchen and the camp.  We all came back home for dinner and Chris mentioned that he would like to have a go at operating a dragsaw so out to the shed we went and got out the saw that Christine’s father used before he died.  It was well covered and we had to move some junk!!  After finding it we put some petrol in it and a few winds of the crank handle later, it fired up for the first time in seven years and ran like a charm, so we loaded it on with the next load of stuff.

Christine and I decided to go back to Milltown and sleep the night so that nothing got pinched, and because there were no beds left anyway and with eight kids in our house we probably got more sleep out in the bush.  Friday morning we came back home and loaded up with horses, portable toilets and last minute odds and ends then we headed back to the bush and set up marquees, tables and chairs, before setting the dragsaw up for a working demo.  By this time Nick and Kaye had arrived and Nick was taking a great interest in what was going on with Scott winding the crank when it backfired and he let go of the handle and it bounced right in front of Nick before hitting him a beauty on the shin and he gave an exhibition of dancing on one leg (Kaye said she can’t believe he never yelled)!

Anyway, after having some fun with that we went out and got a few loads of wood to cut the next day and put up signs and flags on the road so that the public could find us easier.  By this time more helpers had arrived and were setting up tents and caravans ready for the night and the girls had cooked up a good feed to fill our bellies.  After some stories and coffee we all had an early night.

Saturday morning was bright and sunny and the kookaburras let us know it was daylight at 5.30 a.m., so we got up and did all those last minute jobs before the crowds started arriving.

During the day there were demonstrations of sawbenching, slab cutting, shingle splitting, dragsawing, axehandle making, log snigging, log loading, damper cooking as well as a display of photos and old tools.

The lions club had a barbeque going, we were also selling food (many varieties of damper) and drinks as well as fresh veggies (which were all donated) and tickets for a great raffle.

At about 4:30 people starting congregating around the camp area, waiting for the big shave.  So Rodney got up and said that we were a bit short of the $1000 target and managed to get a few more dollars before Geoff Inkster, a professional blade shearer proceeded to cut all my hair off.  Jodie Golding (a professional hairdresser) then finished the job with clippers and took the beard off.  The shave raised $1150 and I would like to thank everyone who donated to the shave, as it caused a lot of interest as well as helping a very worthy cause.  After lots of photo taking (didn’t know I was so popular) we had a fabulous dinner of soup, spit roast pork, and camp oven baked venison, silverside, chicken, sausages and beef casseroles, and lots of different veggies and sweets, which about seventy five people enjoyed.  Once again this meal is not possible without the fabulous donations of meats and veggies.

Then the entertainment commenced which was a display of whip cracking by the Thomas and Taranto families, then more yarns and drinks.  After a slightly later night we all went to bed, only to wake up to showery rain.

By the time breakfast was eaten the weather had brightened up a lot and the public started arriving hours before starting time so it was back to more of the same as yesterday.  By mid afternoon some of the people who had distances to travel were starting to leave but the public were happy to sit around and watch and talk.

As a result of the weekend we raised over $6000 for CIKA so it made it all worthwhile.  There is a lot of work put in by lots of people and a lot of generous donations, but we also have a lot of fun and as long as we can keep having fun we will keep having these days, and raising money for a worthy cause.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has in any way helped us make our “Wood Days” weekend the great success that it was, and hope that they will ALL do it again in 2007.  We would also like to invite anyone who is interested to come and see what we do “in the Bush”.  You are all most welcome to come for a short time, or to stay overnight(s) – but just remember that we are in the bush; no power or modern conveniences, which makes it all the more fun.

Looking forward to seeing new faces (and regulars) on the weekend of November 10th and 11th 2007.  Once again thanks for all the support.

Andrew and Christine Duyvestyn