Glenreagh?s golden day
By MEL MARTIN
WITH so many Glenreagh residents having put their heart and soul into organising last Sunday's timber festival, Charlie Hauville was thrilled to see such a huge turnout.
"It's great to see so many people," Mr Hauville, who was heavily involved in the organisation of the event, said.
"It's brought the town together, and everyone's really excited.
"We've got a great valley and we want people to know what we've got here.
"Now we know that we're right for next year."
Thousands of visitors enjoyed a full day of entertainment, including tug-of-war, chainsaw carving, timber displays, vintage cars and motorbike displays, numerous children's activities, and, of course, woodchopping competitions with world champion David Foster, who was equally impressed with the festival.
"Look at the turnout, it's fantastic," he said.
"Small communities need to take the bit between the teeth and do things like this.
"I congratulate them and I hope they can really build on it."
Mr Foster, who had spent the previous evening getting to know the locals at the Golden Dog Pub, holds 183 world titles.
But having developed back problems, Glenreagh's Timber Festival could have been one of his final competitions.
Not that contemplating retirement means he will stop enjoying himself.
"My philosophy is, every day above ground is a good day," he said.
The sound of woodchopping was accompanied by the whistle of 'Betty' the steam engine which also had a workout, with queues of people waiting for an opportunity to ride behind the historic locomotive.
She's also done her bit for the town since she was brought back into action.
"Betty's been very good for Glenreagh," volunteer Peter Dickson-Smith said.
"She's made a big difference. All the businesses in town have benefited."
Proceeds of the day will go to Heartstart, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, and of course, Betty.
"The Westpac Helicopter and Heartstart are essential out here," Mr Hauville said.
"They're brilliant organisations."