[David Bannister on woodchopping]
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Axeman David Bannister [Ngati Mahaki, Ngai Tahu] talks about the early days of woodchopping on the West Coast of New Zealand in the 1900's, in an interview with Jim Henderson. He talks about the size of the logs back then and the improvement of the axeman through the generations. He won his first chop when he was 13 years old in 1912 or 1913 and it took him 23 seconds to chop a foot log. Recalls the axes and their weight and that he wore no uniform. He talks about his axe called the 'Flying Dutchman'.
Even though he was very young he was 'a big tall man' at age 13 and says when World War I came, he enlisted and got away, even though he was underage. He was picked out when he got to France to go into the forestry corps and did a lot of chopping there too. He competed against the Canadians in France who were meant to be the world's best, but he says they were easily beaten. He still has medals for all his chops and recalls his own brother Jim as being the 'nicest' axeman to compete against. Recalls some facts about the West Coast in those early days.
Reference number 253282
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Interviews (Sound recordings)
Bannister, David, Interviewee
Radio New Zealand. National Programme (estab. 1964, closed 1986), Broadcaster
Date 15 Mar 1967