Golden Downs near Nelson is an iconic piece of forestry estate that features in the family history of many loggers from around New Zealand, not just those from Nelson Tasman. One family, however, has a stronger legacy in the Downs than most.
The Green family’s logging connection to Golden Downs goes back almost 65 years, and four generations. In 1956, Basil Green and his brother Bob started working alongside their father, Bob Senior, as only the second contractor appointed at that time to work in the Golden Downs.
Basil and his siblings started school in Whataroa, South Westland, where their father Bob was logging white pine (kahikatea) for A.R Wallace to use for butter boxes.
The family shifted to North Westland, near Greymouth in 1944. “The war was still going at that time of course,” says Basil, “and I was about eight or nine. We lived south of Greymouth and my father went logging for Ogilvie and Co.”
After Basil left school he went to work at a concrete factory, making tubs. Working life was pretty tough for the spry but diminutive young school leaver. After a short time delivering telegrams for the post office, Basil started cutting posts with his father.