2014 Wood Days

The annual Wood Days fundraiser is the highlight of the year for many CIKA supporters. This year’s event had all of the usual displays: post-and-rail fencing, slab cutting for tables and seats, axe handle making, whip making, Clydesdale horses working in the bush, drag saws, saw benching with oil engines, photographic display of the local area, displays of tools, axes, saws etc., and camp oven cooking with damper for morning and afternoon teas.

We hope to be able to report on the amount raised and to display some photographs very soon but, meanwhile, you can read the impressions of one the participants. 

Heywood Lions Club manned the b-b-q on both days for lunch and Nick Kerr from Farm Foods provided the meat for those meals, a generous donation for wich we are most grateful. We also appreciate the donations by the Taranto Family and Rod’s Fruit and Veg of fresh fruit and vegetables used for the Saturday night dinner and the stalls and which, along with other donated homemade product, was available for purchase. Wood Days Calendars were, as usual, a big hit.

To the many people who continue to assist, donate and support this event – Thank you! We can only continue to fund the research we do with YOUR support!

I was told many things about Wood Days by friends and family who had been lucky enough to go in previous years. Although I was looking forward to going this year, nothing prepared me for what was in store. My expectation of the Wood Days bush block was one of the wilderness and maybe a hut or two. Extensive sheds, benches and a huge fire pit, all crafted without machinery created a wonderful old-time feeling. Dean and Lea made a long bar height bench just after we arrived. This didn’t take too long due to the enthusiasm and help that went in to creating it. 

The atmosphere at the block was inclusive, kind, old-worldly, and very child friendly. The CIKA Wood Days team was forever busy but always ready for a chat, a cuppa and showing people the old ways of doing things that we take for granted today. A good example of this was when two very lucky kids talked about making a stool within earshot of Andrew, who subsequently cut two stools for them within 20 minutes! The smiles on all three faces were beautiful.

Saturday’s festivities were amazing. Johnny, the two year old Clydesdale, and his friends Tiny and Lofty were well received by all, especially the kids. One regular Wood Days attendee, Jason, spent many hours carefully hand making wooden toys for the kids which were immediately played with. Many of Jason’s toys are still being enjoyed years after they were made! The pit saw and double-handed saw were a hit, as was the axe handle machine, which creates a handle from a template. Several interesting old machines were used to power saws and the axe-handle cutter. The bench chainsaw cut huge, glowing redgum and cedar pieces. All were for sale and highly prized; they were bought immediately once cut. One family who are going to use cedar pieces to make new benches in their kitchen took many as they left on Sunday. The three-course dinner was cooked entirely in the fire pit and included a suckling pig, tender lamb shoulder, apricot chicken, curried sausages, vegetables and salad. Dessert was no less impressive and after such a busy day, everyone had a very good appetite!

Wood Days began nineteen years ago due to the Duyvestyn family’s passion to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital. Dean was one of the lucky ones and survived his childhood cancer; he and his family dedicate huge efforts to supporting the hospital in the hope that others with an ill child will be as lucky as their family continues to be.

As a first-time Wood Days attendee I am already looking forward to going to the 20th Wood Days in 2015 to further support the Duyvestyns in their fundraising for CIKA, and for an even better time.