Northland Presidents Report 2014

Northland Presidents Report 2014

The 2014 season got off to a ‘solid’ start with some of the hardest radiata we’ve
cut in a long time being served up at Matakohe and Whangarei. Later in the
season we had some of the biggest wood many of our guys had ever cut in
competition with 425mm poplar being dished up for the Joe Julian Memorial (a
standing event) at Broadwood in February.

This year’s meeting at Broadwood was an extra special one being the 100th
anniversary of the North Hokianga A & P Association as well as being the venue
for the presentation of a life membership award to Selwyn Semenoff. It was the
perfect opportunity to recognise his 40 year involvement in wood chopping and
the mayor of Northland was on hand to mark the event as were a contingent of
Selwyn’s family. It was kept as a surprise and Selwyn was completely blown away
by the whole affair and humbled for being recognised in this way. According to his
family, Selly is just as obsessed about wood chopping today as he ever was and
in his list of life’s priorities it ranks highly! He’s one of the quiet guys at a meeting
and usually in the background but if you get him talking about wood chopping he
really comes out of his shell – no question he’s been bitten by the bug! Selly was
a member of the NZ veteran’s teams in 2012 and 2013 and one of his proudest
moments was seeing his son Jason being selected for the U21 team in 1997.

Some of our members took advantage of a subsidy NAA provided for another
trip to Stratford in November. It’s quite a long way for us to go with the best
part of a day’s travel required either side of the event itself but the meeting and
hospitality is well worth it. Plus it’s resulted in some strong connections being
made at a grassroots level with some of the guys from Taranaki reciprocating by
coming up to Puhoi in January. So that’s been great.

In more good news we’ve had some new members join up this past season all
of whom have little or no experience with an axe. It meant we’ve had to cater
for more novice events but it’s a great problem to have and one that bodes
reasonably well for the future so long as we can maintain their interest in the
sport. The downside is that we didn’t really get a lift in overall membership
because some of our more seasoned members have begun to step down but
here’s hoping we can attract more new blood this coming season.

Traditionally we’ve run a grading day in March and for the last 2 years the Kaipara
Flats Sports Club have been our host. This year we added 4 open events to the
programme which made for an excellent day’s chopping and the Club are keen
to see it build into something a bit bigger. Chopping meetings have been falling
away over the years so it’s great to see one being added to the calendar along
with genuine and enthusiastic support from the venue. This is the last event of
the Northland calendar so finishes with a BBQ and good hospitality as the sun
goes down. A big thank you to the KFSC for supporting us.

In closing, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported a chopping meeting in
Northland especially those volunteers who do the hidden things that make a day
successful. The cleanup crew, the parking people, the eye judges, block stewards
and so on. We’re also really grateful to the businesses both large and small who
make a financial contribution or lend equipment to make the days happen. It
really is a team effort and it’s great to be able to pull it all together once again. All
the best.

John Sanderson (President - Northland)