An axe-head forged especially for him.
An axe-head forged especially for him. DONNA JONES

Former Gympie champion keen to share his passion

PASSION is what links the artisans and tradespeople together at the Rotary Quilt and Craft Spectacular and the Ancient Crafts and Rare Trade expo on this weekend.

Starting Saturday more than 30 people will share their passion with working demonstrations, vintage displays and more at the Gympie Pavilion and Showgrounds.

One of these passionate people, Max Krogh, inherited his passion for axes from his father, John Krogh.

John, a champion axeman won his first championship in 1920 and was competing up until the mid 1960s.

An axe-head forged especially for champion axeman max Krogh.
An axe-head forged especially for champion axeman max Krogh. DONNA JONES

Max followed his dad's example, winning his first championship in 1949. It was also around this time he got his first axe, from his dad, an Anchor Plumb racing axe.

Although he down-plays his achievements over the years as a wood-sportsman, Max travelled up and down the length of the east coast of Australia, attending all the shows from Sydney to Cairns.

In 2007 he represented Australia at a New Zealand Championship, gaining a gold and three silver medals while in his late 70s.

One particular episode in his history sticks out in his mind at The Nambour Show in the early 1950s.

Max competed, and won, in three team events at the show - the butcher block with Vic Summers; the 16 inch relay with Vic's brother Bill Summers and the combination cut with Vic's other brother, Tom Summers.

All the teams in which he competed that day won their respective events and Max has a unique way of describing it:

"I had three Summers in one day,” he joked.

His love of timber is something that is ingrained in him from his father, and Max worked for a time as a timber contractor on Fraser Island for many years.

While he has since given that away, he still keeps his hand in though, creating his own axe handles to fit the unique range of axe-heads and tomahawks he has collected over the years.

His can-do attitude is also something he inherited.

Max Krogh with the oldest axe in his collection which is more than 140 years old.
Max Krogh with the oldest axe in his collection which is more than 140 years old. DONNA JONES

"My father often said 'don't worry if you can't do a job well, do the best you can, that's all anyone can expect of you',” Max said.

Max took that on-board and created his own motto - Try everything and find out what you're good at.

True to his word over the years Max has done virtually every sport you can think of from football to tennis, to hockey, cricket, swimming, pistol and rifle club and even winning a championship in surfing one year.

He's also a keen photographer and a number of photographs that have appeared in The Gympie Times over the years have been his.

Forcibly retired from competing only five years ago due to illness, Max says he's on the mend and really looking forward to continuing where he left off, when given the all clear.

"I'll get back into it again, just as soon as I get rid of this bowel cancer,” he said.

In the meantime, he's been working hard at polishing up his impressive collection of axes, which he says have been given to him over the years from his father, friends and even sponsors in the early days.

"They all know I collect Plumb (axes) so if they see a Plumb they get it for me,” he said.

The Quilt and Craft Spectacular and Ancient Crafts and Rare Trades Expo is open from 9.30am Saturday and Sunday at the Gympie Showgrounds and Pavilion and runs until 4pm Saturday and 3pm Sunday.

Entry is $7.

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