The Canterbury Branch of the Institute of Quarrying NZ (Inc) had a very busy week at the end of February 2006 commencing with a branch meeting on Monday 27th February at the Equestrian Hotel Christchurch, with a strong turn out – 48 members in attendance.

New members received their Institute of Quarrying scrolls as well as several current members receiving their Membership Certificates from IOQ President Steve Ellis. Several other notable attendees included Bruce Taylor (President of the Aggregates and Quarrying Association), Brian Bouzaid (past President IOQ) Eric Souchon (past President AQA) and George Kelcher (IOQ Vice President), along with other members of the NZ IOQ Executive.

Luke Mathieson and the team from Wellington based Real Steel Ltd sponsored the evening. The IOQ is grateful to Real Steel who also sponsored Andrew Dronjak (Auckland Branch Chairman and winner of the 2003 Goughs Caterpillar Travel Award at the Queenstown conference) to presented his “Iceland – Land of Light and Darkness” paper at three venues in the South Island. The first presentation was to the Canterbury Branch – an excellent opportunity for members from the southern regions to hear this paper if they hadn?t made it to the 2005 Conference in Waitangi.

From Christchurch Luke took Andrew on a whirl-wind tour of the South Island east coast including Macraes Flat then on to Dunedin for an Otago Branch meeting held on Wed 1st March 06. Andrew again presented his paper with Real Steel sponsoring the evening.

Tuesday 28th February, Christchurch hosted the Aggregates and Quarrying Association Executive Council meeting as well as the Institute of Quarrying Executive Council meeting and an Executive Conference Committee meeting, all conducted at the Copthorne Hotel.

On Thursday Lou Ditmer and Ken MacLeod traveled to Nelson to hold an extraordinary Branch meeting for the Nelson/Marlborough members. We gave a quick brief on the July combined conference activities and fielded membership inquiries. Andrew Dronjak met us there and presented his Iceland paper to the Nelson/Marlborough members. Goughs Caterpillar sponsored the evening, and our thanks go to Chris Manson (Goughs Nelson) and Tony Smith (Goughs National Sales Manager) who were present for the evening.

The Nelson meeting was a very beneficial event serving to make contact with our northern members and to pass on information regarding our conference. The branch plan is to continue with these Nelson/Marlborough meetings and encourage more speaking tours.

Report by Ken MACLEOD
Canterbury Acting Branch Chairman