"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Barrabool Forest - abt 1943

An area of Black box forest where old trees had been rung by Commission labour 8-10 years before. Each tree is surrounded by a number of coppice shoots 5 feet or so high. Two men with a swing saw, a truck and sundry crow bars, axes etc. (Dont forget the dogs, they might catch a rabbit. Make sure the water bag is full and dont forget the billy. Better take the licence, that forestry bloke might turn up).
Aim: Production of 9" firewood for sale in Horsham or Murtoa for domestic wood.
(1) Fell the tree with the swing saw after removing some or all of the coppice shoots.
(2) Sharpen the saw.
(3) Cut it into 9" blocks with the swing saw. (Sharpen saw at regular intervals).
(4) Split the rounds - some of which are 2'6" in diameter - into manageable sizes for loading, but make sure you dont do any unnecessary work.
(5) Load and deliver.

Black box with interlocked grain is very hard to split so the tool in use was an axe head welded onto a pick haft and fitted with a pick handle. (It's too tough - you can't split it with an axe!).

A memory of JD Gillespie