February 19 - 1925 The 'Invincibles' at a lumber camp

After their match against Victoria (B.C.) on Wednesday February 18th the 1924/5 All Blacks were treated to lunch and a tree felling exhibition at a lumber camp some 37 miles from Vancouver. As always, Read Masters recorded it in his tour book.

“On Thursday morning we left Vancouver in a fleet of motor-cars for an inspection of Abernethy, Lougheed Logging Company’s Lumber Camp. We motored some 30 miles, and then proceeded by one of the Company’s lumber trains for another seven miles into the heart of a Canadian forest. At the main camp we were entertained to lunch, at which Messrs. Abernethy, Lougheed, and Annerdale (the Mayor of Westminster) were present. After lunch we saw huge hemlock and Douglas fir logs being hauled out of the bush and loaded on to trucks by very modern machinery, and later witnessed the topping of a tree by an expert “high rigger.” This operation, which is performed on trees that are to be used as masts in the hauling and trucking of timber, is most interesting to watch, and in view of the dangerous nature of the work the man -who undertakes it receives higher wages than other men in the camp. The “high rigger” climbed 130 feet up the barrel of a huge tree, with the aid of a rope and spiked boots, which he dug well into the tree; fixing a rope round the barrel to support his body, he stood there and chopped the top off about opposite his waist. When the top broke away it caused the great trunk to sway perilously with the man clinging to it. At the conclusion of this exhibition, which had been arranged for our benefit, one of the directors of the Company presented our Captain with the axe the “high rigger” had used.”

From “With the All Blacks in Great Britain, France, Canada and Australia 1924-25” by Read Masters. Pub. 1928 by Christchurch Press Co. Ltd p.146.