Axemen from the Mid-West Axemens Association, members of the Hall and District Axemens Club (Canberra) as well as juniors journeyed to Grenfell to participate in the Henry Lawson Festival competition.
From the introduction of the competition around 1977 as an attraction for the festival it has proved to be a very popular event.
Initially the chop was held at the showground where the festival parade ended and a carnival afternoon was held.
When the carnival and stalls were relocated to the Main Street, the first competition was held on the block at T F Armstrongs Machinery - then McClintock's Machinery now Farm and Fable. The axemen found that this was a little difficult to anchor their cradles, hence the popular move to Rygate Square.
Each year the competition consists of the 300mm Standing Block, 250mm Underhand and 300mm Underhand Championship.
In the early years, the then Secretary of the festival, Terry Carroll together with local Les Bolton cut the logs each year for the festival competition. As the years rolled on and the type of timber required for the event was no longer available, the axemen from Mid-West Axemens Association now supply the timber.
As a point of interest for every tree lopped for the competition, a new one (or more) is planted. This also goes for the competition held at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
The competition held in Rygate Square in front of the Railway Hotel normally commenced following the procession in the Main Street - this year it commenced at 2pm with the finals being contested between 3.30pm and 4pm.
A huge crowd of spectators was present for each event with two heats of the underhand and standing block taking place before the finals plus the 300mm Championship.
Results: 250mm Underhand: 1st M O'Connor 2nd G Graham, 3rd A Findlater and 4th D Howarth.
300mm Standing Block 1st M O'Connor, 2nd K Graham, 3rd S O'Connor and 4th A Findlater
The Underhand Championship ended in with Kendal Graham and Dan Armitage both of a 30 handicap dead heating for 1st place followed by Mick O'Connor 3rd and A Findlater 4th.
The final event was a brother and sister competition of juniors Lucy and Gus O'Connor from Canberra.
Terry Carroll presented the prizemoney on behalf of the Henry Lawson Festival.
Thank you to all sponsor of this event.
Deidre Carroll - Woodchop Coordinator.
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