Heat sees fewer visitors and participants
Not many tarts but full fields for North East Axemen’s events
DESPITE the dire predictions of further heatwave conditions for Saturday, the 128th replay of the Tolmie Sports went ahead, albeit with fewer visitors than previously.
For most of the day a welcome breeze made the dire predictions seem a bridge too far.
Although children played easily in the sun at their races and gumboot tossing, most of the adults kept out of the weather under the trees or the awnings around the wood chopping arena.
Except for earlier in the morning where both groups lined up for the now traditional egg tossing competition, where dozens of them learned how not to catch a hurtling egg.
Obviously very few felt like cooking before the day, as there were only minimal entries in the Tolmie Tarts competition, raising the suggestion that the entire Tolmie Sports event could perhaps be transferred to a cooler time of the year.
The popular axemen beavered away in the heat, however, showing not only how well they make the chips fly, but how well they endured the heat.
They were joined this year by two-handed cross cut sawing events, which pleased the crowd almost as much.
One event that met with wide approval was the welcome by outgoing politician, Bill Sykes (MLA, Benalla), who spoke of his long association with Tolmie Sports, but declined further participation in the events themselves.
He was joined by Cindy McLeish (MLA, Seymour) – who is standing as candidate for the seat of Eildon in the November elections – and Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi), who joined the local event for the first time.
Life memberships of the Tolmie Sports Association were presented to Shirley Cleeland and Ronnie and Robyn O’Dwyer by Mr Sykes, who was later presented with his own life membership medal by Ms McGowan.
Much to the amazement of the crowd, Mr Sykes was so overcome he simply said ‘thankyou’.
Before his surprise presentation he did say that coming to Tolmie sports was something special.
“It’s a beautiful part of the world - and 10 per cent cooler than the lowlands,” he said.
In presenting Mr Sykes’ life membership, Ms McGowan said she was delighted to bestow this award onto Mr Sykes who she described as not only a hard working MP who had been very supportive over the past 12 years but was a ‘good bloke’ and a ‘fair dinkum bloke’.
Once again the North East Axemen’s Association conducted a very successful event with a full field of ‘choppers’ attending.
Although numbers were down for equestrian events, all who competed were happy as were those who took part in the junior and senior foot races. novelty races appear on page 42 of this week’s issue of the Courier.
NO EASY WAY: Brad Turner (left) and Brad Hains showed real muscle in the two-hand sawing event. They came second in the event by a whisker.
LOG PREPARATION: Perfect logs are cut up ready for the two-hand sawing comp. It’s still a bloke’s interest though.
EGGS COMING IN: Adults in the egg tossing competition stand opposite their children as the eggs fly in.
SPRINGING AWAY: Xavier Joyce bounded to the lead in this sack race, just ahead of Layla Ellis (right).