IF you attended the first day of the Warragul Show this year you might have noticed one participant in the woodchopping contests carrying a handicap significantly greater than almost every other competitor. His name is Glen Gillam, a world record holder from Toongabbie, but Warragul’s show was something of a homecoming for him.
Above: Glen Gillam finishes a log at this year's Warragul Show. Photos by William PJ Kulich.
First published in the 13 March 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
Glen was born in Boolarra and grew up with an axe in his hand “since I could walk, basically.”
His mother recalls him and brother Nigel chopping down trees on their property from an early age, inspired by their woodchopping father and now-Axe Choppers Hall of Fame inductee grandfather.
“It’s just part and parcel,” Glen told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“It’s family heritage and you just grow up around it all your life.”
The family history is not, however, a source of pressure for Glen.
“No, it’s more just passion,” he said.
“It’s something different, but everyone has their forte in sporting throughout the community, from golf and cricket to football, and this is just something that I do.”
His history might not be a pressure but he has certainly lived up to it, recently breaking the foot standing block world record in Tasmania.
“There was $50,000 up for grabs to beat the record down there, which was 13.7 seconds, and I broke it in 12.12 seconds,” he said.
That’s 12 chops in 12.12 seconds, including time taken to turn around half way through.
Glen was less successful at this year’s Warragul Show, which he predicted would be the case before the event as he was “a little down on form” after a busy working week.
But it was not Glen’s first time at the show. Having moved to Neerim South for school he has competed locally from a young age.
“I lived at Neerim South growing up as a kid, so every year since I was about 10 or 12 right through to my early 30’s now.”
Watching from the crowd on Friday was his young son, still in nappies, who plays with a toy axe when at home. Another generation likely to continue the wood chopping tradition.
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