The Maritime Ship Modelers’ Guild was founded in 1984, shortly after the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic moved into the building on Lower Water Street in Halifax, where it is still housed today.
A small group of people got together at the urging of Mr. Graham McBride, and decided to form a Guild of Ship Modelers, chose a name, which is still used today, and added to that name, a motto which is ”Crafts-people sharing their Techniques”. The club has always operated with that Motto fore-most in the minds of it’s Members.
Some of the original Members were, Mr. Mike Oddy, who was the first elected president, Andre’ Benard, Cyril smith, Philip Eisnor, Mr. McBride, and lastly, Mr. John Davies.
The members of the Maritime Ship Modelers’ Guild come from all walks of life. When one attends a meeting of the Organization, you may well see a Doctor, a Dentist, a Business-man, a Ship‘s Captain, a Store Clerk, a Mechanic or, a Maintenance-man.
These Ship Modelers are all equals when the Group meets, attends a pond sailing event, or exhibits their Marine model Art at one or more of the many shows we put on in various places, locally, and around Atlantic Canada. Friend-ships cultivated in our Group are very rewarding for the individuals concerned and very often last for all the lives of the members.
One of the most enjoyable events our Group participates in is the Annual Model Makers’ Showcase. We have been participating in this event every spring for the past 25 years as a combined effort with the staff of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, here in Halifax.
We have shown as many as 125 tables of Ship Models, Military, Models, Combat Ship Models, etc. at some of these Shows. We have featured the work of up to 75 Model Makers at these events, as well.
Sixteen years ago, work was started on a 1/300th scale model of the old Halifax Naval Yard as it was in 1813. Four of the original members of the Guild prepared plans and decided how they would build this 3-foot by 9-foot miniaturized layout of the Yard.
Today, 16 years later, Michael Oddy still toils away at creating the world-class miniatures that make up this project, and his pieces include the Buildings, wharves, equipment, full-rigged ships, and minature figures depicting the people and animals that might have been in the yard at that time.
Two of the principal pieces are, models of the Ship HMS Shannon, and the American Ship, Chesapeake, which had been engaged in a battle off the US Coast during July, 1813. These finely-crafted Ships are only between 5 and 6 inches long and they are fully rigged with full complements of crew, and the Chesapeake is being created showing damage sustained in the battle with HMS Shannon. The finished display will be enclosed in a case, which the Museum is building. It (the display) will be featured placed on a topographical (3-dimensional) layout. The Diorama should be completed during the next Calendar Year and Mr. Oddy is donating the entire display to the Museum.
During the year 2002, Members of the Guild, at the urging of Michael Oddy, approached Maritime Museum Staff with a view to establishing a Volunteer Team of Model Makers to work at the Museum, in view of the patrons to the facility, having a workshop built in the Public Gallery on the first floor. After suitable training, a workshop was built and the Team started work on a conservation program whereby ships needing repair, and housed in the museum Artifact Storage area of the museum, would be conserved/repaired by the Model makers. The first shift was on march 11, 2003, and we have worked there ever since, up to the present day. A second workshop was also built for the Team on the 2nd floor in the Age of Steam Gallery, to allow space for the conservation of a large, 13-foot Model of a cunard Lines Ship, RMS Franconia. This second shop has proven so popular with visitors that the Museum has decided to keep it open and operating.
We are pleased to note that our Team has collectively conserved over 500 models from the extensive collection housed at the facility. We have received world-wide recognition in the Ship- Modeling Community and in the Museum System.
Articles about the Maritime Ship Modelers’ Guild Volunteer Team, the conservation of a Cunard Lines Builders’ Model of RMS Franconia, a feature on the 1/300 scale Naval Yard Diorama, and an article about the building of a replica of the Ship HECTOR by the people of Pictou N.S. have been written by Guild members, John Green and William (Bill) Moore. All four features were written for the prestigious Nautical Research Guild Journal, published in the United States and distributed throughout the World.
The Guild membership numbers have increased steadily over the years and for many of the years of operation, we have averaged approximately 70 or more Dues paying Members on the rolls, up to the present time.
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has graciously allowed our Organization a Meeting place at no cost for the past 25 years, and to them, we express our on-going gratitude.
The Maritime Ship Modelers’ Guild meets the first Wednesday of every month, September through June, at that Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Lower Water Street in Halifax, and the meetings start at 7:30 PM. Visitors are always welcome at our Meetings. Come along and see what we do as a group and, perhaps, give some thought to joining and becoming a Model Maker yourself. I might add that we are always interested in appealing to our younger people to have a look at what we do, and take up the hobby.
In closing, I would like to remind readers that our Members who operate Radio-Controlled Ship Models can be seen at the Shubenacadie Locks Pond near the Fairbanks Centre on Locks Road, Dartmouth, on the Week-ends, in Season.
President: Dave Porter
Vice President: Jay Gorveatte
Treasurer: Wayne Catchpaugh
Secretary: Peter Bartlett
Presentation coordinator: Robert LePine
Web Master: email@example.com
Address correspondence to
Maritime Ship Modellers Guild
c/o Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
1675 Lower Water St.