Ron Armstrong

Hobbyists hobnob at West Shore show

14 groups showcase hobbies during mall hours at Westshore Town Centre, 2945 Jacklin Rd. Jan. 31 to Feb. 2

Tinkering and tweaking away at a model ship, Ron Armstrong, a member of the Victoria Model Ship Building Society, gears up to share his passion with anyone who will listen.

“I built my first ship when I was 12 but there was a big gap between the next one with cars, girls, beers and everything else getting in the way,” Armstrong said. He was 33 by the time he build his next ship.

Shipbuilding is something that has remained a steady part of his life and many of his friends in the society have also been building for several decades.

“At 63 I tend to be one of the youngest members,” Armstrong said. “It’s a problem for us. We are aging out and dying off.”

 

The View Royal shipbuilder speculates the “instant gratification” of computer games is to blame for youngsters shying away from the time-consuming hobby of model shipbuilding.

 

“Those kids now just hit the button and things happen instantly,” he said.

Over the past several decades Armstrong has completed eight ships. All aspects of the ships he builds are hand-crafted and he finishes them with radio controls.

Armstrong along with other members of the group will set up a pond in the hallway of Westshore Town Centre hoping to pique the interest of youngsters and adults alike for the Hobby Show, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.

Once a year he pilots his ships at the show and the rest of the time he visits various ponds and lakes, including Langford Lake.

The first ship he ever build was a British Coaster out of yellow cedar. As a young boy he found a book at the old library located on Yates and Blanshard.

“It’s a British book called An Introduction to Model Ships. Britain is the mecca of this hobby,” he explained. “That ship, she had a sad demise, she sprang a leak and owner of B.C. Hobbies and Crafts said he’d fix her, but the shop caught fire and burned down.”

Now he likes ship building to help preserve nautical history.

“It’s difficult and expensive to save ships. If they are wooden they rot, if they are made of steel they rust. For all boats condensation is the biggest enemy,” he said. “I replicate these ships so they are not forgotten.”

Along with the model shipbuilders, 14 other clubs and societies will showcase their hobbies and talents including Lego building, model trains and the Victoria Lapidary and Mineral Society.

“We are going to be demonstrating cutting and polishing stones,” said club president Michael Hill, adding local stones found through rockhounding including dallasite and rhodonite will be on display.

“(This show is) really, really fun and a good way to see what’s available to you on the West Shore and in Greater Victoria,” said Sandra Doris, marketing manager of Westshore Town Centre. “You can also meet other people in your community with the same interests at you.”

 

The hobby show has been a West Shore tradition for about 15 years. It runs during mall hours at Westshore Town Centre, 2945 Jacklin Rd. Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria’s ‘Penny Girl’ to tell story of gender transition in new documentary

Frankie Edroff will write film, Empress Avenue Media to direct, produce project funded by Telus Storyhive

Four Greater Victoria mayors to be acclaimed in fall election

No election in District of Highlands with six council candidates up for six seats

First phase of Highway 14 improvement project nears completion

Province ready to start more work this fall in Sooke

Sooke warm clothing program to expand to all SD62 elementary schools

Sooke volunteer works to keep all kids cozy on the playground

United Way asks Victoria to share local love

2018 campaign aims to raise another $5M

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Pot, cash, mansions: Judge divvies up illegal estate of divorcing B.C. couple

The Smiths ran a multi-million marijuana operation that spanned three counties

Most Read