Kyogle residents Pam and Doug Campbell launch their newly-published book Ramblings of the Timber Industry at the timber workers' reunion ball in Kyogle on Saturday night, watched by proud son Jason.
Kyogle residents Pam and Doug Campbell launch their newly-published book Ramblings of the Timber Industry at the timber workers' reunion ball in Kyogle on Saturday night, watched by proud son Jason. Doug Eaton

Timber reunion, auction a success

DOUG CAMPBELL reckons the only disappointment at the timber workers' reunion held at Kyogle at the weekend was that the ball on Saturday night had to shut down at midnight.

Otherwise the reunion was a huge success, said Mr Campbell, who organised the event with his wife, Pam.

Many more people than expected – 380 – came for the weekend, from Victoria, Sydney, Dorrigo and Brisbane; and 160 waltzed the night away on Saturday, Mr Campbell said yesterday.

The Campbells used the reunion to launch their book, Ramblings of the Timber Industry.

The 440-page book contains 867 photographs and the stories of 60 men and women involved in the sawmilling industry, as well as short histories of many of the region's timber companies, going back to the 1880s.

Two leather-bound editions were auctioned by State Lismore MP Thomas George and fetched $2500 and $3000.

A third, unsigned, book brought in another $2000 – all of which will go to assist the valuable work of the Kyogle and District Historical Society.

Guests started arriving at the reunion at 8am on Saturday, but things didn't officially kick off until Jimmy Newman blew the Long Creek steam whistle – just like his father had for many years at the mill.

There were speakers until midday and then the auctions took place.

For the rest of the time the guests chatted and reminisced, their memories sparked by a static display and exhibition of timber industry machinery and equipment, as well as the 5000 photographs on show – about half of those the Campbells have in their possession.

More than 100 people came to look at the displays yesterday and families were fascinated to see the role played by their forebears, Mr Campbell said.

“There were plenty of young people there too, and some of them bought books,” he said.

The book is available for purchase at the Kyogle Historical Society, the Kyogle Tourist Information Centre, the Kyogle Newsagency and the Little Book Shop in Keen Street, Lismore.

It is priced at $120.



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