IT can be a risky job to climb top of the trees to trim branches and leaves, but for some, its their bread and butter in order to support their family’s survival.
In Solomon Island, its not often you see a man climbing tall trees just to trim the branches and leaves when requested by clients for the safety for the home and properties.
Meet Forest Prore, 60, who hails from Isabel Province Maringe District in Buala.
He has been a resident of Gizo town, since 1981.
Mr. Prore is not new in Gizo town where many of his customers and clients frequently hired him to cut down whatever sizes of trees that have been requested.
He currently resides at the Banana Valley with his family for many years now.
Even people and prominent leaders in Gizo know him well because of his climbing skills just to cut and trim tall trees that may pose a threat and can be a hazard to homes, properties and residents.
He arrived in the 1980s as a Tasiu Brother from the Anglican Church of Melanesian. But then his special divine task ended after 5 years in Gizo Parish Anglican Church.
Between 1986 and 1988, he was working as an untrained primary school teacher under the Western Provincial Education Authority in Gizo, Wagina and Choiseul Province.
Since then he never returned to his home in Isabel.
Speaking to this paper in an interview with the Solomon Star, Gizo, Mr. Prore said he started cutting trees in 2005.
And he earned huge money from cutting trees not just in Gizo Town but also in other different neighboring islands in the province.
He charges his clients and customers by the size of the trees he was tasked to do.
“Whenever I receive any call from my clients to cut down a tree, I first observe the size of the tree and charge accordingly.
“One tree can cost me $1000 plus in a single day. If the size of the tree is huge, it costs $2000 to $3000 plus just to prune the branches of the tree,” he said.
Mr. Prore also received requests from companies, provincial government and organisations to prune and cut down trees.
This includes Solomon Power, Bemobile, Telekom, Provincial Government and other bigger companies.
He recalled his first accident occurred when clearing some of the trees at an old playing field to give way for the construction of the new Gizo Hospital built by the Japan.
“I was still cutting a branch and suddenly it springs back and hit my feet sustaining minor injuries.”
Another accident occurred and he almost lost his life after breaking his collarbone and ribs in 2016.
“This was when I cut a mango tree at the Assembly of House of God (AOG) Church compound,” he said.
However, these incidents failed to stop him from doing the job he loves.
“It was a miracle for me, I survived and have recovered,” Mr. Prore said.
In Gizo he normally receives two calls in a week to do a task.
He used to be a Forestry Officer at Poitete in Kolombanagara from 1989 to 2001.
He added most of his income mostly spent on the welfare of his family with six children from his first wife and 1 child from her second wife who now attends form 1 at the Gizo Secondary School.
When asked what techniques he used to cut trees, he said, that he normally used a rope to grip his body and used a knife and axe to cut down branches of a tree.
“At the moment I did not use chainsaws but only axes and knives to clean the trees.
“I cannot afford a chainsaw because I’m unemployed,’’ Mr. Prore added.
He said, he is grateful for talent and skills because it allowed him to earn a living to support his family and put food on the table.
The Isabel man then encourages other unemployed fathers to engage themselves in a productive way that will allow them to earn an income, to support their families and children in the years to come.
So if you need someone to trim a tree near your homes today, get in touch with him.
By ULUTAH GINA
Solomon Star, Gizo