Tag Archives: Pender Islands

Woodies share the folk and art of hobby

April 13, 2017

At any given moment, I wonder how many men and women are slogging wearily away at their office desks in government jobs or selling retail or defending clients in court or standing up to speak in the House of Commons while a thought niggles at the backs of their minds.

I imagine it goes something like this:”When I leave this all behind, I can spend all the time I want every day woodworking in my garage.”

Suffice to say the Penders and other Gulf Islands has a sizable share of these dreamers who become the doers known as woodworkers:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Penders Edition

Wednesday, March 22, 2000

Woodies share the folk and art of hobby

by Tanya Lester

Their roots run through the community like those of the trees from which they glean their materials, yet the Pender Island Shop Craft Guild (SCG) members say there is always something new for them to learn about woodworking.

Close to a decade old and numbering 50 strong, the SCG’s reason for meeting monthly is the same as it was in the beginning.

“We started by saying we can learn from each other and why don’t we get together every once in awhile,” said Bill Bastendorf.

One of their first major projects saw 30 of them gather at Kevin Oke’s place for an old-fashioned barn-raising, which resulted in a studio and a major education in woodworking techniques for everyone involved.

Nowadays some of the more experienced members are teaching small groups of women to become dexterous in the art of woodworking. This is one reason why monthly meetings throughout the winter season often focus on basics such as measuring and use of both power and hand tools.

Bastendorf said that after being taught the basics, the women apprentices continued right on working — from getting plans and buying the lumber to make finished products that won them prizes.

The SCG is a resource to the Pender community in general and has worked on the beautiful community hall, and spruced things up at the Pender Island Golf and Country Club.

For some SCG members, woodworking has become an almost all-consuming hobby. John Fox will often spend eight hours a day on a project if it really interests him, turning his tools off at 4 p.m. only because he knows tiredness can cause an accident.

“The problem with being retired is you don’t get a day off,” joked Fox, who took up woodworking as therapy when he was a management consultant in Calgary.

“You never reach a point that you know it all; it’s a lot of fun and you lose yourself in it,” Bastendorf said.

The retired psychologist first got into woodworking when he was working on his doctorate in southern California. He found that when he needed something like a box to put things in between his front car seats that he would visit a neighbor handy with wood who insisted on teaching Bastendorf how to do it instead of doing it for him.

In the 1950s, this neighbor encouraged Bastendorf in the woodworking craft by selling him a whole set of tools for $100 when they were worth hundreds more.

In turn, Bastendorf loaned these tools to a friend when he went overseas for what was supposed to be a year but turned into 20. When he returned, he got them back.

Terry Bowyer believes his love for woodworking might be in the genes since his father did it before him. “It’s just a very pleasing thing to do,” he said.

Bowyer likes working with cherry wood, which is quite in vogue nowadays (as is walnut, although it used to be oak), but finds it tricky to work with as there are wood grains running “every which way.”

Some of his finest and most innovative work consists of pens made out of broom and bowls that show off natural wood designs for their artistic quality.

Woodworking, according to Fox, can be an art or it can be a folk piece. As an example, he uses two cabinets he has made. One is chunkier in nature, with the nails showing up as they don’t quite match the colour of the finished wood. Fox will somewhat carelessly put the cabinet in the back of his vehicle when taking it somewhere.

The other piece is a streamlined beauty and Fox treats it like the piece of art that it is, and he wraps it in towels before transporting it.

To work on a wood piece in this way takes time.

Fox’ next project is a diningroom set which will take him two years to complete.

If they were trying to make a living from woodwork, the profit would probably work out to 50 cents a piece, but with the hobby group’s support Fox knows he can ask any member’s advice if he gets stuck on some aspect of his creation.

Fox moved to Pender in 1993 and still numbers the “woodies” he first met in the SCG among his base of island friends.

The group’s monthly meetings have ranged from using the chainsaw to guitar making to stained glass and the fundamentals of blacksmithing. This is all available for the grand total of a $5 annual membership….


To read more posts in this blog of articles and other writing on many different topics, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya works as an intuitive reader who specializes in tea leaf reading, tarot and mediumship. Her web is teareading.wordpress.com and she has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Or she can be reached directly by email at tealeaf.56@gmail.com  or text or call 250-538-0086.

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew sometimes available from the author and always available at amazon.com  She also penned Dreams and Tricksters besides Women Rights/Writes.  These books are all available in some public libraries.






‘Sunny’ group creates unique floral designs

January 29, 2017

“I got sunshine on a cloudy dayyyyy,” was how that 1970s pop song went.

Well, I think one of the best ways to conjure up sunshine from within is to be creative. And, it doesn’t have to be creating like Picasso did. e

Read the following:

Gulf Islands Driftwood – Penders Edition
Wednesday, March 29, 2000
‘Sunny’ group creates unique floral designs
by Tanya Lester

As I head up to Peter and Margaret Adamson’s second-floor garden room where the Floral Art Design Group meets once a week, I am told that the room is sunny even when the weather is miserable outside.

After spending some time with the women who are creating designs for the covers of cards out of a wide range of pressed flowers, grasses and even weeds, I realize that the “sunshine” exuding from each group member rivals the beams streaming through the room’s many windows.

The group has been creating this light since 1980 when it was launched with a New Horizonz grant.

The half-dozen or so group members seem to enjoy socializing with each other as much as they enjoy working with flowers.

“The magpies are back,” Annabel Cowie said as she made her way up the stairs to meet with her friends last Friday morning.

At times, the noise created by the chatter makes it difficult to be heard as I head around the circle of tables to ask the women how and why they do what some have been doing for many years.

Eunice Schmidt said that she creates floral designs because it is easy to do.

“For someone who never did anything artistic, if I can do it, anyone can do it,” she said.

The first step, according to Verlia Shannon, is to get the flowers. They can be gleaned from the garden or where they grow in the wild but should be picked in the afternoon of a dry day.

The “flowers” can include anything that is growing. “The things you see if you keep your nose on the ground,” said Celia Pemberton, her eyes glinting with delighted enthusiasm.

(Cowie is the resource person who always goes home to refer to her guide books when a flower no one in the group cam identify appears at the meeting.)

Once the flowers are gathered, group members say, the next step is to fold them in tissue paper and sandwich them between telephone books. There might be as many as four books pressing down on the harvested petals.

In a minimum of three weeks, the flowers are ready for pasting on cards in designs that are always unique from one another — as unique as the imagination of each woman who busily sifts through the blue, green, yellow, purple, pink and brown petals they carry to the meeting in Tupperware-style containers.

Pemberton is an avid proponent of using the imagination to ferret out pictures in the petals and leaves. Some turn out to be ducks in one of her cards. Tulip petals make up a girl’s doll buggy in another. A tree is designed from parsley. Little fairytale-like animals have Queen Anne’s lace for eyes. Here and there she draws in details, such as birds flying in the background.

Sharon Fox said she started out using bigger flowers and now finds she is more often drawn to island weeds that create a delicate, lacy effect on paper backing.

Group members often use the cards to extend birthday greetings to family and friends.

Bev Ostrom is busy on one for her granddaughter Jeanette’s first birthday.

“The price of cards is out of this world so it sure helps if you make them,” said Ostrom, pointing out a practical side to the art they enjoy so much.

At an annual membership fee of $10, the price it costs to be part of the group is also right.

Cowie works on her designs week after week, from September to June, simply because she loves flowers so much.

Her friends reap the benefits. “They save them or they frame them,” said Cowie. “Getting something handmade today means a lot to people.”

With Easter coming up, some of the group, which totals 19, according to president Lily Miles, are concentrating on cards for the Christian spring celebration.

They even learned to make the paper on which the flower designs are mounted. For this, paper is recycled along with many of their materials.

Everyone swaps materials and ideas before breaking for their bagged lunches somewhere around noon and then heading for home at about 1:30 pm.

“So wee all have our own talents and we share everything,” said Pemberton, “except our husbands and our wallets.”


Tanya does psychic readings — tea leaf reading and tarot, etc. She is also a reiki master which she infuses into her readings and a fulltime house sitter.
To access these services go to teareading.wordpress.com or her pages at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Or contact her directly at tealeaf.56@gmail.com or at 250-538-0086 cell.

Fundraising begins for Gowlland purchase

January 22, 2017
I doubt if there is anyone living or visiting the Gulf Islands on Canada’s west coast who does not appreciate the glorious, natural beauty of these islands.

This is linked, of course, with the fund raising that goes on regularly to conserve and protect nature as its best.

Read on:
Gulf Islands Driftwood — Penders Edition
Wednesday, September 6, 2000
Fundraising begins for Gowlland purchase
by Tanya Lester

Gowlland Point, described as an attractive piece of South Pender woodland with probably the largest stand of rare chocolate lilies in the Gulf Islands, has been made available to The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) for $355,000

The point is recognizable for its lighthouse and beach. The conservancy will have to raise $100,000 in order for the Capital Regional District (CRD) to make money available for the purchase.

“It’s a wonderful addition to Brooks Point if it can be acquired,” said David Spalding, chairman of the Pender Islands Conservancy Association. Gowlland Point lies next to Brooks Point, now a CRD park, which was purchased early this year largely due to the efforts of local Friends of Brooks Points members. Their fundraising campaign to conserve the property spanned several years.

Because of that, Spalding said the Pender group would be “reluctant to mount a major campaign” so soon after the Brooks Point one has finally been completed.

TLC is taking the reins in the campaign and has scheduled two fundraising cruises. Each six-hour boat trip will start at Port of Sidney Marina, run through the Gulf Islands and tour Gowlland and Brooks points before anchoring in Bedwell Harbour. Van transportation is being provided for participants to view Gowlland Point from the land by Bedwell Harbour Resort and Marina, Pender Island Courier and Island Carriage and Taxi. They will then return to the boat for dinner at anchor.

Orca pods and porpoises have been spotted in this area often during the last few months. TLC communications director Alison Spriggs is optimistic but can make no promises that these ocean inhabitants will be part of the wildlife show during the fundraising voyages.

The cruise will cost $125 per person. A $50 tax receipt will be issued for each ticket…

…Spalding believes the Gulf Island National Park proposal has also heightened off-island people’s awareness of the area’s beauty. Spriggs defines the fundraising campaign as working towards a “conservation vision for the south end of Pender Island’s exceptional ecological values and beauty.”

Tanya does tea leaf reading, tarot and other types of psychic readings. She is also a reiki master and fulltime house sitter. To access her services go to her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google or to her website at teareading.wordpress.com Or contact her directly at tealeaf.56@gmail.com or her cell at 250-538-0086

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew (both can be purchased on amazon.com or from the author) as well as Dreams and Tricksters and Women Rights/Writes.

To read more of a wide variety of topics on this blog, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Volunteers propose to build Pender fire hall

March 13, 2016

I remember someone, who had lived on the Pender Islands in B.C.’s southern Gulf Islands for many years, telling me that just when she and her husband had decided they could not take anymore of island petty politics and untrue gossip for another day that something so special would happen, it made them decided to stay.

Probably this holds true on all of the Gulf Islands and maybe on islands everywhere. The pettiness gets under your skin and you stop witnessing what is extremely wonderful about living on a beautiful island. Then, you witness something or someone tells you something that reminds you of the up side of island living.

The following is one of these stories:

Gulf Islands Driftw00d — Pender Islands Edition

Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Volunteers propose to build Pender fire hall

by Tanya Lester

It would be an exaggeration to say that the North Pender Island Fire Protection Society has received an offer that is too good to be refused.

But a group of volunteers constructing Thieves Bay Marina has also expressed interest in building the new fire hall with volunteer labour, said fire protection society president Dave Wightman. The ideas is being seriously considered.

Ian Heslop, organizer for the marina construction currently being done by volunteers, has approached the fire society with the offer that could shave considerable dollars off the proposed $750,000 fire hall construction.

Heslop does not want the volunteer work to be done in conjunction with a contractor as he believes this takes away from the spirit of giving. He said he already has drywallers, a plumber, a roofer and carpenters lined up to contribute volunteer time.

An architect could oversee the work to ensure everything is up to standard, he said.

The fire protection board is examining how to utilize the offer based on a number of factors, while at the same time considering when to call a referendum for North Pender residents to vote on the proposal for a new fire hall.

At its meeting last Wednesday, the board decided it would cooperate with the Capital Regional District (CRD) Magic Lake Water and Sewer Subcommittee to hold a joint referendum if a late August or early September time frame can be agreed to.

“Fire protection is essential and a good water supply is essential for that,” said Wightman.

The fire protection president said the CRD subcommittee did not pinpoint its referendum date concerning Magic Lake repairs to the water system at its meeting last Friday.

According to Bruce Copeland, who is chairman of the water and sewer subcommittee, the decision was made via telephone discussions by subcommittee members late Sunday night, to hold its referendum in conjunction with the fire protection society referendum.

The referendum date must be approved by the CRD.

Meanwhile, the fire protection board has directed architect Mark Ostry from the Vancouver firm of Acton, Johnson and Ostry to come up with a revised fire hall plan based on the $750,000 proposal.

Wightman said that last Wednesday’s board meeting also determined he would write letters to any residents whose homes present restricted access for fire trucks responding to a call.

This could include any properties accessible only by water, such as Kathryn Curtis’ residence that can no longer be reached via Jack Neale’s property, as reported in the April 26 Penders Edition.

Wightman said fire truck response time is approximately 15 minutes, with a goal of 10, to an accessible residence.

He has also written a letter to Greg McDade, Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy (PMHL) special advisor, regarding the proposed Gulf Islands national park. IN the letter he reiterated fire protection society concerns that a rise in visitors to the Penders will increase the possibility of fires.

Wightman expressed the fire society’s wish to receive federal government grants in lieu of taxes now lost due to Parks Canada purchase of private properties.

At a May 6 public consultation on North Pender, McDade said grants would be provided to the fire society after a national part was given final government approval.


You can read other of the many variety posts on this blog by going to writingsmall.wordpress.com  and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya does intuitive readings (tea leaf, tarot, Russian gypsy card readings, medium and psychic channel), house sits and is a reiki master. For more information or to access these services, go to teareading.wordpress.com or to her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Or contact her directly at tealeaf.56@gmail.com or call 250-538-0086

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader (you can purchase this book from the author or at amazon.com), Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters and Women Rights/Writes. These books are available in some library systems and the last three are in the Provincial Library of Manitoba.