Heat sees fewer visi­tors and par­tic­i­pants

Not many tarts but full fields for North East Ax­e­men’s events

Mansfield Courier - - OPINIONS/PEOPLE - By RICHARD JAGO and PAM ZIERK-MA­HONEY

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).

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