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Liam's Introduction & Video Feedback


Good day everyone!

It's about time I introduced myself and a bit about my background - my name is Liam, as mentioned in Layla's farewell post earlier in the year, I have taken the reigns of Marketing Manager for Peterson Portable Sawmills, giving Layla the chance to step down after 16 big years to focus on what’s important in her life.
I'm making assumptions here, but I would safely say that at the ripe age of 27, i'm a spring chicken in this neck of the woods so i'm here to learn as much as I am to teach and serve. Forums could certainly be considered a thing of the past to "my" generation; however, I see the centuries of experience in these posts and the communities created by forums to preserve knowledge. I believe it is essential to keep these networks alive for future generations.

My journey to being involved in sawmilling goes back over 100 years.
I grew up sweeping the floors of Dad's workshop, Freshwood Furniture Ltd - surrounded by saws, sanders, and enough recycled Rimu to sink a battleship. Dad was trained as a wood turner at 17 years old and for the 30 odd years that followed, worked with wood day in, day out. Eventually falling victim to changing retail furniture markets and closing his business preventatively.
Wood always interested me and with Dad's assistance I made quite a lot of knick knacks with the factory off cuts including this sign that read "Old House 2 New Furniture" given the nature of where a majority of his timber was sourced.
I made it for fun with plywood offcuts on the bandsaw, finished with some old stains and Dad liked it so much he decided to take it and run with it for the company slogan for a while. That was about 20 years ago.

When I began researching into my family tree(s), I found my father wasn't the only woodworker before me. His grandfather was also a cabinet maker back in Holland, hand crafting many pieces in his time, including a coffee table that made it to my Oma's (Grandmother's) here in New Zealand. On my mother's side, my Great, Great Grandfather was also a cabinet maker, with many pieces crafted from some beautiful woods, still in the family here in Rotorua, New Zealand
His father was the man that took my attention most though. Henry (Harry) Pullar Ford Jr - son of Henry Pullar Ford Snr who settled in Auckland from Scotland in 1862.
After working on a farm of a then mayor of Auckland, followed by a short stint gold mining in Waihi, Harry Jnr travelled to Mamaku, later followed by two of his brothers Tom and George Ford and with Alf Jackson, the four men formed the Arahiwi Sawmilling Co Ltd - New Zealand Sawmill Registration #27. The three Ford brothers bought blocks of several hundred acres each and worked the timber. Harry kept milling until 1912 when he bought land down in Rotorua which he developed and established a dairy farm in the area now known as Fordlands, just a stone’s throw from the Peterson factory.

Mamaku is a small settlement on a plateau approximately 300m above Peterson HQ in Rotorua (560m above sea level) with a rich sawmilling history. In the “Hay Day” there were 18 sawmills operating in Mamaku. Today, there are none.
Of course, it wasn't until my partner and I had purchased our first home together, 70kms away from Tauranga where we grew up, in Mamaku that I learned the same roads I now called home, in a small village of around 800 people - had been the home and business of my ancestors over 100 years ago.

With all this knowledge and a passion to live a more sustainable, self-sufficient life on the land, when the opportunity arose to help market the worlds best portable sawmills, I jumped at it. Thankfully Layla and Kerris saw my passion and relevant experience and here we are a year later!

Anyway, this section is supposed to be about Petersons… Have you have seen any of our latest videos online? If so, these are a large part of what I do here. Creating videos with our sawmills is the next best thing to being able to watch one in person so I want to make sure we’re creating as much content to put out there as possible. As the men and woman who are most likely to watch these videos, if you do have any feedback or suggestions for me, I’d love to hear from you.

That’s a bit of my story. I’d love to hear some of yours!

Welcome Liam!

Welcome, I love the family history. Also, I can see from your username that you enjoy playing with words- that's witty😁


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