It began back in 1972.
Colin Heyward's chin was feeling distinctly chilly.
His cheeks were warm enough, protected by a fulsome pair of bushy sideburns.
His upper lip was toasty as well beneath a trim moustache.
"How about I expand on the theme and encase my chin in hair as well," thought Colin. And he's never had a chilly chin since.
He has, however, been called upon to play Santa rather a lot and he's frequently recognised in CHB's streets and supermarkets by star-struck children.
"I will see them tug on their parents' hands and point me out," Colin says.
"They say 'there's Santa!' and I explain to them that I'm on holiday."
Colin's beardliness began when he was in the Navy and it was a well-disciplined affair.
"For a start, you had to apply for formal permission to grow a beard. You couldn't go ashore for seven days while your beard was first growing, then you had to be inspected and your beard had to be presentable or you would be ordered to shave it off and you would not be allowed to ask permission again," Colin says.
After that first beard, Colin went through a brief period of beardlessness for his wedding, after which he was given permission to re-grow his facial covering ... this time by his wife.
Beard number two has been gracing Colin's face for nearly 48 years now.
"I have a 45-year-old son who has never seen me without a beard," Colin says. "I don't even know what I look like under it."
So Colin's friend and fellow Freemason Barry Severinsen came up with a plan.
The pair are members of Ormondville's Lion Masonic Lodge No 114 and during a meeting Barry suggested Colin shave his beard off for charity.
Barry was initially told off by fellow lodge members as "that would be cruel," but Colin said he'd do it on one condition: He chose the charity.
Colin chose Dementia Hawke's Bay, as his father died from dementia and he remembers "it was very hard for my mother".
Dementia Hawke's Bay has respite care day-centres and the funds will purchase outdoor tables, barbecues and garden tools.
The very public beard shave will be at the Green Patch in Waipukurau at 11am on Saturday, February 29 and rumour has it Colin will be shorn by dog, horse and alpaca groomer Heather Dixon, using her alpaca shears. Although Barry has a pair of hand shears he thinks he'll have a go with.
Donations towards the charity beard shave can be made online, to BNZ Dannevirke.¦ BNZ Dannevirke 02-0612-0017997-02.
Inquiries to Barry Severinsen, phone 06 858 6155.