Lake Tekapo Lions generally raise on the average $20,000 annually from firewood sales.

Read about this project and its history.

The Woodchoppers

“We’re wood chopping this Saturday”.  Sounds ordinary enough, energetic enough, keep-one out-of mischief enough. (‘There’s quite a history about this,’ Lion Colin assures me, covered in the filth of a long day’s work. ’You need to talk to Ivan’)

It is an accepted activity for a Lions Club to supply wood to the elderly. When the Lake Tekapo Lions came in to being about 30 or so years ago they willingly took on this task. It was all done by hand back then - seven or eight guys wielding heavy axes. Over the years the process has slowly progressed to more mechanical means. (‘Well, we’re all 30 years older!’ sighs Ivan).

       Lion Andy Green and Lion Ivan Eason constructed most of the gear (‘I’m a do-it-yourselfer,’ admits Ivan). The Gibson Brothers of Fairlie allowed them the use of their equipment. (‘That was a great help’ adds Ivan). Each year different ideas would surface to further improve these home grown inventions. Now the trailer is self-tipping -  tips a cord of wood. (‘No hydraulics, purely mechanical,’ proudly states Ivan.). The wood splitter, put together by Andy and Ivan with the help of a substantial donation, is almost 20 years old. Everyone agrees that this is a major labour saving device. Newly acquired machinery has further supported all this hard work. There’s supposed to be little manual lifting now (‘Used to split wood by hand, throw onto trailer and throw off again,’ remembers Ivan). Over the years some labour saving ideas had been very effective.

            It has developed into a successful money making venture for the charities, local needs and a variety of other support that the Lake Tekapo Lions are committed to. In the early days about six cords were processed. With the development of more mechanical means and the able leadership in the past of the late Lion Bruce Scott, over 120 cords were chopped annually. Now, (‘With the wisdom of more mature years,’ smiles Ivan), they’re easing off to eightyish. 

There was a time when the log splitter was stolen from a yard in Fairlie.  Five months later it turned up all in bits at the Timaru Police station. Luckily the thief had not been successful in selling off all the parts separately.  With some more hard work and initiative the machine was soon back in working order.

       And where do they get all the trees for this venture? They have at times bought logs off logging companies but more often trees are donated by local run holders in exchange for tidying up and utilising trees that would otherwise not be viable.

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