George McNaught: Wood Carver and More

In his own words

During my service in the Royal Air Force, my wife and I lived in very rural communities, one of which was a lovely village called ‘Lighthorn’. It was located of a main road and down a steep road into a very isolated little village.

After leaving the R. A. F. and moving around a lot we settled down in another small town called ‘Bromborough’ in Merseyside. Years later when our children were approaching leaving school and an unemployment rate for youth at 17%, we decided after a phone call to Carol’s sister and husband, Adrianne and Tommy, to come to live in Canada.

Before leaving for Canada we went home to Belfast to say good bye to our parents. When it came time to leave, Carol’s mother gave me a roll of chisels belonging to her father who was a woodworker. I looked at the weird shape of the chisels and had no idea what they were used for, but I brought them with me to Canada.

When arriving in Canada and living temporarily with Adrianne and Tommy, I had an offer of an interview for a job in Oakville. After getting the route from Tommy, my wife and I set off through Milton and down Guelph Line toward Burlington. Driving down a steep hill through Lowville we both looked at each other with the ‘we’re back in Lighthorn’ look. Then driving out of the hill we passed a cute little church called Lowville United. I said if I get this job, I’m going to go to that church.

I was fortunate enough to get the job and bought a house in Burlington. As soon as we got settled in, I went up and joined Lowville United. As luck would have it, a couple of weeks later Lowville had their annual Arts & Craft fair. I went up on the Saturday to check it out. While walking around, I saw Dennis Sinclair carving a picture using the exact same style of chisels my mother-in-law had given me.

“Where could I learn to do that?” I asked Dennis. “Go down to the Burlington Arts Centre”, he said.

I went and joined and now 30 years later I’m still carving and selling my bird carvings. I still attend Lowville Church and have put my skills to use on the church building.

I’m really happy in the Lowville and have made many friends.

Editor’s Note:

George is and has been a great and much appreciated supporter of Lowville United Church.  If something needed to be done at the Church, George was there whether it was painting windows or refurbishing the Church emblem above the front doors.  He also known for making the post service coffee for the congregation to enjoy and it is apparently very good coffee.

George also made it a priority to help and visit the seniors and those in need of assistance.  He made regular visits and phone calls to brighten their day.  The congregation today is so very thankful for this thoughtfulness. 

When the Church held their annual Irish Night, George was a highlight of the evening telling stories and sharing a joke or two.  He always had a table at the Church Craft Show and was very generous donating his work to silent auctions.  More recently, he has expanded his artistic endeavors to wood burning.  

George remains a cherished member of the Church and is highly thought of by all.    

Contributing Author: George McNaught