Peter Templeton knows his chips from his chops after three plus decades as a bushcraft commentator.
Travelling up from Riverton in Southland, he’s again putting his great memory and accuracy to work at the NZ Agricultural Show in Christchurch.
“I was brought up with woodchopping. I went to my first meeting in 1954 with my dad and I’ve been following it ever since. I love the camaraderie and the challenge for everyone. When you’re brought up with timber and bush, it’s hard to get it out of your blood.
“I was at a woodchopping meeting years ago and I was saying to the organiser that he needed to get a decent fella on the mic. I said ‘he doesn’t know the choppers, the size of the wood and all that. He went away and came back with a microphone and told me ‘Never criticise unless you can do better.’ And he gave me the microphone. Thirty-four years later I’m still doing it,” Peter says.
“I never have anything written down, but I know most of these fellas’ records, what they’ve won, what championships, where they’re from. It’s important to relay that to the crowd.
“Everyone thinks the commentator has the cushy job, but you need to be dead right in what you’re saying. Commentating is tricky. I have to be a mind reader, a comedian and have a good memory.”