10 months ago

Selwyn Times: August 22, 2017

4 Tuesday

4 Tuesday August 22 2017 Latest Christchurch news at Our People SELWYN TIMES Garry Birch Fisherman, hunter and now Birchy’s Your Local Views Garry Birch, 79, has just been made a life member of the Lincoln Club. He spoke to Georgia O’Connor- Harding about his time with the club, his transport company and fishing in remote, crocodile-infested Australia How did you come to be involved with the Lincoln Club? We had a transport business. It News was E Birch and Sons those days. We carted potatoes and stuff like that when we grew them on the old Lincoln Club grounds to raise funds to help with its construction. Our company started to build the club on Edward St and that is what has happened. We were involved in building the car parks and Fashion driveway. The first meetings we had was initially at our house in Lincoln. It was called the Ellesmere Country Club back then. I have been there since day one virtually. What caused the name to be changed? They changed the name about eight years after we had the Gardening club going I think. The district council bought our site. Now we have got the club in the pub of The Famous Grouse. When were you given life membership? On Sunday at an annual meeting. It was given to me by the Lincoln Club president Lynn Townsend. Have you lived in Lincoln all your life? Not yet, I am not dead yet. No, I have. I was born and bred there. What kept you here all that time? Probably the family business. It is a good town. I quite like it so I suppose that is why we have stayed. It is not so quiet now. There are a lot of new faces and people. Things have changed over the years. It is a lot busier but I don’t mind it. It is always a challenge which is good. Tell me a bit more about the family business you have run? It was started by my grandfather in 1908. My brother and I bought it off my father and his brother. About seven years ago I got out of the business and my brother sold it out to Ellesmere Transport Co Ltd. It got too competitive for us to stay in business. We eventually sold it out three to four years ago. My brother and I were both getting on and thought we would retire. Now you have more time to yourself, what do you enjoy doing? I play a bit of golf. I like helping out other people. I tried bowls but I didn’t think I was old enough. I understand you are a fan of fishing at the Gulf of Carpentaria? My son lives just out of Cairns. We go over there every year. We go way up to the Kendall River by the Weipa which is on the Gulf of Carpentaria amongst the crocodiles and snakes. RECOGNISED: Garry Birch has been made a life member at the Lincoln Club for 50 years of service. PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS Are you afraid of fishing around such dangerous animals? No, not really. If you leave them alone it is okay. You don’t go for a swim put it that way. We know they are there and we don’t have any problems with them. I like the outdoor life and it is nice and warm up there. How long have you been fishing in Australia? Motoring Tasty Bites with live music. High Country High Tea A Finest Slice of High Country! Money What better way to spend an afternoon with friends or family than in the tranquil setting of Terrace Downs Resort. Available everyday 11am - 3pm Lunch Buffet Sunday 3rd Sep 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm Adult $59 Children (under 12) $25 What better way to show your appreciation to your father than to treat him to delicious Father’s Day Lunch Buffet at Terrace Downs Treat his taste buds with a complementary glass of beer. Make your Sunday extra special with our popular Sunday Buffet Come and enjoy a delicious menu of classic and International flavours, accompanied by live music. 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SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at Tuesday August 22 2017 5 a life member of the Lincoln Club For 22 years. I love it, it is excellent. Have you got any exciting tales? Not really, I have seen a few snakes and we do a bit of shooting. We get the odd wild pig and feral cats. The feral cats eat all the wildlife up there apparently, and they want to try get rid of them because they are a menace. It is a bit different in New Zealand. Them and the dingoes of course – they get shot too. I like hunting, fishing and shooting and so forth while I could still do it. I don’t shoot as much anymore. I mainly fish. What is the most exciting fish you have ever caught? The barramundi – we have caught them up to 1.2m long. They are quite a big fish. Was it a battle reeling it in? They fight quite a bit. It takes a while, but when we get them into the boat they get tired quickly. They are one of the better fish for taste. They are as good as New Zealand or Chatham Islands blue cod. We go over to Chatham Islands every second year to fish. My sons go snorkelling for crayfish. I have snorkelled a bit. We have caught groper over there. We’ve been doing that for 12 years. Have you ever caught anything weird like an octopus? We have had an octopus climb on board at one stage. They are terrible things. They climb under seats and are terrible to get out. Mind you it wasn’t big but still a menace. It was caught on the line. Once it latched onto the boat it climbed on board. They are pretty slimy sort of things. You travel a bit with your fishing. Is there anywhere else? We have been to Stewart Island and Fiordland as well. Is there anywhere you like to go fishing in Selwyn? I think in the Selwyn River a few trout are caught. My boys ADVENTURE: Garry at the Kendall River, Far North Queensland, with a barramundi he caught measuring 1.2m long. used to fish that years ago. We have been out on Lake Ellesmere and caught flounders. I hear you had a re-union last week? These guys were in the New Brighton Power Boat Club. My older brother and I used to race them but he passed away three months ago. There were about 17 of us. We met up, had a couple of beers and food at Trevinos. Peter Knight was one of the racing guys we were with. He has been a world champion. We raced at New Brighton by the estuary. We used to meet every year. Last year they said we are going to meet every six months because one or two are starting to tip over. Since the last meeting two have passed WELL DONE: Garry with wife Bev and Lincoln Club president Lynn Townsend on the night of the award. PHOTO: STEVE MCLENNAN away. One was my brother and the other was a cousin of mine. Do you have any other hidden talents? In my younger days I used to play ice hockey. I played for Canterbury and was a New Zealand representative as well. We were going to go overseas to Canada and the United States but the money was the thing that held us up in those days. It was too costly for a young fella. How did you meet your wife? Actually my second wife. We celebrated 36 years last Thursday. She is a local girl from Springston South. We met at the Springston Hotel. Are there any other projects you have on the go? I do the odd jigsaw puzzle. I am waiting for the summer so I can get a lawn down and a couple of fences up. We are in a new house. Our other house got knocked over in the earthquake. We have been living in a portacom for five years. It hasn’t been easy but we got what we wanted and that is the main thing. That is what happens with insurance companies. You are forever battling them. Just a short stroll from the heart of Lincoln, Te Whariki is a haven for everyone from families to empty-nesters and retirees. With a host of amenities on your doorstep including New World supermarket, cafés, quality schools and a world-class university, is it time you joined the good life? Sections in our next stage are released this week! With free boundary fencing and site-specific geotech reports, you’ll want to get in quick to secure your slice of paradise, just 20 minutes from Christchurch City. Contact Deane on 0274 352 384 or visit our Show Home Village & Sales Office on Vernon Drive, open 12-4pm Wed-Sun. Titled Sections Selling Now!