The 2020 Tumbafest drew a record crowd to the bushfire impacted Tumbarumba town, with the annual festival of music, food and wine being one of the most successful events since its inception in 1997.

Hyne Timber congratulates the Tumbafest Committee and Tumbarumba community for the success of this year’s festival.

As a major sponsor for the fourteenth year in a row, Hyne Timber distributed a number of tickets to team members who fought the fires in their official volunteer capacity while also hosting a ‘thank you’ dinner at fire impacted local business Courabyra Wines.

Hyne Timber site manager Marcus Fenske said over 20 team members stayed in Tumbarumba during the bushfire evacuation in various official roles of response to defend the town, efforts which were commended over the course of the weekend celebrations.

“We have SES, RFS, FRS and other team members with various official roles, skills and equipment who stayed to fight together to protect our town and the Mill,” Fenske said.

“Our CEO Jon Kleinschmidt attended along with general manager – customers, Peter Hyne and general manager – supply, Rachael Armistead to personally thank them all, discuss the impact while focusing on the journey ahead for full recovery.

“We have contributed well over $200,000 towards Tumbafest over the years, which brings in visitors from far and wide with an average spend of $300 each.

“We look forward to many more successful events for this vibrant town into the future,” Fenske added.

The Hyne Timber Mill was recognised as a critical asset during the bushfires given its major role in an extensive, integrated supply chain, and its status as a large employer and significant wholesaler of timber framing to build one in four NSW homes.

Alan French, the RFS volunteer captain for the Tumbarumba Brigade and Kilns operator at the Mill was one of the team members thanked during the dinner.

Captain French said it was part of his role to ensure the safety and welfare of his RFS crews in very trying and protracted circumstances.

“Mapping where to put the trails while prioritising the welfare of the crews in the thick of fire response was challenging. This was further challenged when residents, including my family, understandably just wanted to get back home but the threat wasn’t over.

“It was hard being separated from my own, evacuated family for so long. A drawing from my seven-year-old son Kobie kept me going.

“This was all on the back of fighting other fires since October around Glenn Innes, Grafton, Washpool, Braidwood and Nowra.

“I am still completing paperwork today and clearing roads. The immediate recovery isn’t over but as a long-term Tumbarumba resident, I am proud to be part of our town's resilience and ability to recover.

“I valued the opportunity to enjoy a dinner with my fellow co-worker volunteers, share a few stories and enjoy another great Tumbafest,” French concluded.