We felt it’s high time to mention that the Become-a-Bricklayer national facebook page now has nearly 6000 fans following and contributing to discussions about joining the trade. It’s no surprise that we’re attracting a lot more comment on activities on the facebook page than we do here at the blog, though we welcome your feedback on both, so don’t be shy.
Your feedback on the website and on the Facebook page are valuable to us in letting us know what you want and need to see covered by us, about taking on an apprenticeship. We’d also like to know how you’re tracking with the apprenticeship – is it like you expected, what are the high’s and low’s and what else can we do to contribute to your success?
Working through your apprenticeship, like any career commitment, does have some great times and challenges and facebook is a place to share both and get reactions from more experienced apprentices and advice from the team at ABBTF (the Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation) which puts together the Become-a-Bricklayer website and facebook page.
Facebook also allows us to have a bit of fun, picking up on some of the weird and wonderful social news that we think might interest you.
One of our most ‘Liked’ posts of recent months was when Cathy Ballenger of Botany NSW won the amateur US World’s Best Bricklayer Competition’. Other very popular posts have been on regional WorldSkills winners and bricklayers competing in international events. This year we’ll also post on the other major national event for apprentice bricklayers, the bi-annual Golden Trowel, sponsored by ABBTF, as well as whatever hits the news in the industry
So, get on board, become a ‘fan’ and as they say ‘Like Us’ on facebook!
Check out the practice run this morning. Thanks to the TODAY show for the clip.
"The world bricklaying championships will be held in Las Vegas next month and amongst the competitors will be a bunch of Aussies. Competitors in training, Cathy Bellenger will be in the women's amateur division. Meantime, Ron Elliott and Mark Rose are in the big shootout for professionals, and they joined TODAY."
Quoted from ninemsn.com.au.
Mark Roese, Cathy Bellenger and Ron Elliott at Bondi Beach. They will be going to the World Bricklaying Championships at Las Vegas. Picture: Anthony Reginato Source: The Sunday Telegraph.
The USA’s annual quest to find ‘The World’s Best Bricklayer’ is on again and Aussie blokes Ron Elliott and Mark Roese are heading back for a second try. Aussie Cathy Bellenger, who was runner-up last year in the all-female amateur bricklaying category is also back, confident of a win this time.
The event, now in its 13th year, can be viewed live on Wednesday February 6, 2013; information is available at the Specmix Bricklayer 500 website. The event is held in conjunction with the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas, USA.
Entrants come mainly from around the USA but Australian Ron Elliott submitted a video last year to demonstrate his capability and gained entry and this year was invited to return having done very well in 2012. The aim is to lay as many bricks in one hour on a wall as possible. The 2012 winner won with 572 per hour (9.5/minute) last year compared to Ron’s 6th place with 540, so this year he’s is training to achieve 600. A very healthy $US100,000 in total prize money is shared, so it’s worth the effort of training the 3 hours/day the team is putting in. The final wall is also judged on quality – how level and straight it is and crooked or chipped bricks are deducted from the total.
The team comes from The Country Group, bricklayers from Botany NSW. Mark Roese is Ron’s labourer in the event, providing him with his materials (mud ‘n bricks) and he takes part in a similar competition against his peers. Cathy, as mentioned above, is a strong contender for the all-female amateur award! As reported in a blog HERE on last year’s event, The Country Group has two bricklaying apprentices in the team. What an enthusiastic, ‘can do’ environment in which to be training for your Apprenticeship!
Their boss, Brian Freeman, believes they can win. "For Ron and Mark to be competing against the world's best and to come out on top would be an absolute honour. It's a pretty big deal to be judged by your peers in this industry and to be called the world's best."
The guys have a host of sponsors, including the ABBTF as a lead supporter, all hoping for the top result. However they finish though, it’s a great challenge and all credit to them for having a crack at it and giving their best!! The team at ABBTF will be glued to the pc screen!
It seems that bricklayers are a very competitive breed. Take Ron Elliott – he’s about to compete for Best Bricklayer against the best in the USA - the 16 winners from regional bricklayer events that were held during 2011 throughout the US & Canada. Together with just one other non US bricklayer, a Pom, each competitor has to lay as many bricks as he can in one hour, with deductions for inferior work. Ron says "I'm not going there to muck around. I'm taking it very seriously," he said. "It's too far to fly not to win."
The event is the Spec Mix 500 World's Best Bricklayer competition, part of the World of Concrete Trade Show which takes place in Las Vegas on, of all days, Australia Day! Ron’s workmate Mark Roese, 38, will compete in the best labourer section at the same Trade Show.
If you’d like to take in the action –coverage of the competitions is being streamed live from 5:00 AM Aussie time, January 26, 2012. Full details are at the Spec Mix website.
Ron, who is site manager for The Country Group, has been a bricklayer for 27 years and believes he’s well prepared. "I've been doing about two hours training every day for the last couple of months; building walls and corners and trying to get my speed up and make sure the walls are close to perfect," he said.
Ron’s boss, Brian Freeman has been attending the World of Concrete Trade Show for years and decided it was time! "If it's going to be the world's best bricklayer surely an Australian can be in it" Mr Freeman said. "I think we've got a very good chance of winning. I'm very confident we can come back with a first place."
Mark Roese, Project Manager and Estimator, also with The Country Group, is equally confident. He will have 20 minutes to set up his work area. "I can't wait to go and show the Americans that we're good tradesmen," he said.
Good luck to the guys, we’ll be watching and waving our Aussie flags!
David Gill, ABBTF NSW Manager