International Wood Collectors Society

A Dedicated Group of Wood Collectors and Crafters

Harold Geoffrey Dennis born 12/4/1942 Longford Tasmania. Eldest child with two younger sisters. Emigrated to Bendigo Victoria in 1952. Joined Scouting movement stayed for 25 years gained Queens Scout and ended as Commissioner.

Matriculated from Bendigo High School, went on to gain Pharmacy Degree in Melbourne, returned to Bendigo to practise Pharmacy for next 14 years in which time met and married Esther James. Our three children Scott, Michelle and Narelle were born during this time. Interest in wood and wood construction. Commenced as we renovated a 1906 weatherboard and lathe plaster home we purchased in a sound but neglected state.

Moved to Albury Wodonga to purchase a partnership in 2 Pharmacy where I continued to practice Pharmacy for next 26 years till retirement in 2001. During which time we lived in suburbia and added a large extension to brick veneer home doing all construction ourselves. As children continued to grow we sold out in 1982 and move back to our present location first on 20 acres and now, with additions, some 450 acres. The house we bought was an original solder settlement house constructed entirely of local timber red stringy bark frame, red gum stumps and murray pine floors built in late 1950 which we spent the next 10 years completely rebuilding. Towards the end of the construction I was pushed aside as by now Scott had completed a carpentry apprenticeship. Michelle is a florist and Narelle a nurse.

In the mean time we bought a further 430 acres and gradually built up a herd of 150 pure bred Angus cows which with aide of all family members (all of whom live in various parts of farm, 3 children, 3 spouses, and 8 grandchildren) we still run today. During the Albury Wodonga working period I also had privilege of being a member of Albury Hume Rotary Club where I held during a 32 year stint (100% attendance for 32 years) all positions from President down. Esther and I also had the privilege of going on two Rotary Friendship 2 week exchange visits to England in 2004 and Canada in 2008 and enjoying the return visits to us from England and Canada the following year. After retirement I had for some time after seeing a wood turning demo at local hardware store. Thought I would like to try woodturning so after a series of lessons at local Tafe College and 3 lathes later I was hooked. Then I joined Albury Wodonga Woodcrafters and Esther soon followed. Have now taken up Pyrography and for last 7 years I have been secretary. In this capacity I was shown a report of Australasian meeting at Neerim in 2007. We joined immediately and went to next AGM at Belair SA and every other Australasian meeting since. Esther and I spent 2 years (3 days each Month) helping Ian McLaughlin preserving Dadswell collection for presentation to Melbourne University Creswick campus and remainder for use by IWCS. Our next task together with Victorian Trustees rep Doug and Heather Malsem was to run Australasian meeting at Beechworth in 2013. Prior to joining and with no inkling IWCS existed Doug Malsem started a "weed pot" collection turning a small vase 60 to 100mm high depending on how much material was available and thus I was encouraged to follow suit and our collections take this form. So in last six years I have turned 845 small vases most of which are Australian wood species. In conjunction with Albury Wodonga Woodcrafters we run a Lucas mill each on 2 Tuesdays each month milling logs of local indigenous timber and exotics planted by our early settler's mostly of European or North American origin. My other interests over years were sport (sailing, squash and cricket played till 56 years old), and photography, Outback travel, Genealogy (Have traced all ancestors transported as convict's and free settlers of both sides of my direct family Including visiting English sites), cattle breeding, and genetic traits, and tree planting (have planted over 10,000 trees on various parts of our farm).

Harry Dennis #9260

Esther and Harry Dennis wandering termites gathering Merimbula 2013
Esther and Harry dennis wandering termites gathering Merimbula 2013

Small sample or 'weed pot' collection
Small sample or "Weed Pot" collection

Esther's Pyrography
Esther's Pyrography

Harry working on a platter of Athetrosperma moschatum (southern sassafrass
Harry working on a platter of Athetrosperma moschatum (southern sassafrass