Fred Woodbridge – Western Australia
Fred was born on the 5th May, 1942 to parents William and Kathleen in Kunnunopin.
The love of woodchopping began for Fred in December 1956, where he competed in the open events at the Osborne Park Show. Fred was a true natural with the axe and he never competed in any novice events.
Working as a farmer and within the timber industry enabled him to keep up his physical fitness and mental stamina, attributes needed to succeed in the sport of woodchopping.
His raw talent continued and strengthened when he made his debut at the Perth Royal Show in 1957. At the tender age of 15 he was finalist in Western Australia’s most prestigious championship, the Tom Puckett 350mm underhand. An event which he soon made his own, after winning his first title in 1967 he went on to secure first place for another 12 years.
Fred soon became a force to be reckoned with, taking out numerous highly sought after titles including the 250mm standing block at the Osborne Park Show, the Manjimup Show’s hard hitting standing block and a number of Australian underhand, standing block and combination championships at the Mt Gambier and Sydney Shows.
His winning legacy continued as he reigned as club champion for the Progressive Axeman’s Association and the Western Australian Axeman’s League for 20 consecutive years.
During his woodchopping career and amongst his many titles, Fred married and had four children, Tracey, Susan, William and Annette.
Fred was instrumental in forming the West Australian Axeman’s Council and held the position of President until 1989 where an injury he sustained withdrew him from competition.
He also held the Presidential position within the Central District Axeman’s Association for several years.
His visionary foresight continues today as he continues to help all three clubs within Western Australia to ensure the sport of woodchopping flourishes. He values helping both young and old axemen, by instructing on technique and passing on his knowledge and experience that saw him carve a very successful career within the sport he loves.
Fred’s participation and competition continues today, 56 years after he first picked up an axe.
When Fred is not competing or repairing his beloved axes, he enjoys gardening, hunting and fishing.