Grapple gets to grips with task
Every week the South Waikato News delves into its archives to see what was making the news 10, 25 and 50 years ago. This week we found stories on an impressive grapple, calls for a community-wide poll and the Matamata County Council approaches the full am
10 years ago Putaruru’s link to log unloading
March 6, 2002 Hundreds of people gathered to watch helicopters unloading logs from the stranded log carrier Jody F Millennium, off the coast of Gisborne, last week.
The Gisborne Herald reported that the process, which involved choppers towing grapples, seemed effortless and simple.
However, the simplicity of the unloading can be credited to a Putaruru engineering firm.
Putaruru Welding Ltd’s owner Ron Parker and his foreman Grant Kelson designed the self-setting self-releasing grapple that was instrumental in getting the logs off the boat – in an effort to make it lighter so it could float off the sand bar that had built up around it.
‘‘People don’t realise the magnitude of it,’’ said Ron.
‘‘ They don’t realise the problems involved in getting something that weighed 40,000 tons to move.’’
Making the Jody F Millennium lighter and allowing it to move, was where Ron and Grant’s invention – the Helihawk Grapple – came in handy, allowing the helicopter pilots to simply swoop down, pick up the logs and fly them ashore without the problems associated with hydraulic operated grapples.
25 years ago Rag call for poll March 3, 1987 A poll should be run to allow the Tokoroa Borough Council an opportunity to test support for its administration block plan. Ratepayers’ Action Group chairman Sam Kennedy made this remark today, following the group’s first meeting since the project was temporarily shelved last week.
Mr Kennedy conceded that there was a real fear in his group that the council would vote to go ahead with the project at its rates estimates meeting – scheduled after the district council decision is made.
‘‘Councillors have already said they will bow to public opinion on this issue. We want to take them up on it,’’ Mr Kennedy said.
‘‘We want to see a poll of the town – council could put the questions and we would provide all the help required and scrutinise it,’’ he said.
One of the major factors which raised doubts about the administration was the size of community it would service.
The council was prepared to build the $2.5 million-plus complex in the hope of convincing the Local Government Commission that Tokoroa should be the centre of a new district council. 50 years ago
Hall loan May 3, 1962 The Matamata County Council is within 1550 pounds of raising the full amount of the loan for the new Memorial Hall. The county clerk, Mr K A Otto said about 21,300 pounds was invested for the full term, 5000 pounds for six years and the balance on a 10- year term. The county is underwriting the 1550 pound balance until it can be raised.
UNLOAD: Putaruru’s Ron Parker shows off his impressive grapple that was used to unload the Jody F Millennium.