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Department of Premier and Cabinet

David George ('George') Foster

David George (‘George’) Foster

Member 2007

25 August 1931 - 12 December 1992

George, like his son David, was a big, strong, courageous man and took to the sport of woodchopping with enormous success. His persona as the ‘gentle giant' of Australian chopping was an apt description and well-known among his fellow competitors.

In his early days, George worked as a farmer in Colebrook and Richmond, but then moved to Maydena to work as a woodsman for the Australian Paper Mills. A fitting place for George to be based, Maydena was at one stage in the 1970s the workplace of 19 world champion axemen.

George's forte was as a double-handed sawyer, but he also competed at the highest level as an individual axeman. He won the world double-handed sawing title on 10 consecutive occasions atwhat was regarded as the toughest woodchopping competition in theworld: the Royal Sydney Easter Show.

Following those 10 wins, George suffered a heart attack, which required double bypass surgery. Not to be daunted, he returned toSydney the following year and, with his son David as his partner,won his eleventh consecutive title. This was a special moment forthe Foster family, for the show patrons who witnessed the win and for the sport of woodchopping, as it was one of the most emotional and inspirational performances ever seen in the sport.

In January 1970, Tasmania, as the cradle of this very special sport,was selected to stage the World Centenary of Woodchopping, in whichover 300 of the best axemen in the world were invited to compete. George was so successful at this event he was fittingly awarded the overall World Champion of Champions trophy.

Tragically, George passed away in 1992 but his legacy of 200 club and state championships, 12 national titles and his 25 world titles puts him in the top echelon of Tasmania's list of great woodchoppers. He richly deserves his place in the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame.