Vale Tony Haslett

Friday 31 May 2019

As many of you may already know, Tony Haslett, a well-known identity within the timber industry and major contributor to the art and science of wood drying in Australiasia, passed away this week. We send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Tony is fondly remembered by his remaining work collegues. From a difficut start in life he spanned the gamut of available career paths in our industry. With minimal schooling he began as woodsman cutting tracks for the NZFS, where he was soon picked as being capable of more and told to do ranger training. At ranger school he was told he should be a forester.

He went back to school and ended up studying Forestry Science at Canterbury University, ending up as at NZFRI in Rotorua as fully fledged scientist in 1974. This unconventional path probably influenced him into developing into an effective and “unboffiny” researcher. His endless energy and enthusiam, penchant for practical solutions and unwillingness to take a backward step, eventuated in him running the NZFRI Wood Drying Research Group in the 1990’s taking over from John Kininmonth and Wayne Miller.

Although concentrating on wood drying,Tony had a varied career in most aspects of wood technology. With his renowned bull at a gate style he was instrumental in improving the way softwoods are dried and processed in this part of the world. As well as running the FRI/industry Multi Client Drying Research Group, which solved a vast range of practical issues for processing fast grown plantation softwoods, he contributed to international research and attended several IUFRO Wood drying confrences.

He also spent time on secondments to other organisations such as in Tasmanaia with eucalypts and in Samoa studying the utisation of tropical species. Upon leaving FRI in the mid 2000’s, Tony worked at Weyerhasuer Australia as the National Technical Manager and left a lasting legacy with still used operating procedures and best practice guides. He ended his career being a valuable contributor and organiser with WQI and SWI.

Throughout his career and even into retirement, Tony kept in touch with old collegues. His loyalty and sometimes hidden kind heartedness, his enthusiam …and his bluntness will always be remembered both those of us who worked with him. Vale Tony.

A celebration of Tony's life will be held at Tauranga Park, 383 Pyes Pa Rd, Tauranga at 2.30pm on Tuesday 4th of June 2019.

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