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Sunday, January 29, 2012

The knife rack

Made by head cook Laurie MacIntosh and painted by Brad Abbott, the knife rack was mounted on the back of the stove partition in the dining hall kitchen in the early 1970s. Abbott is now an architect in Toronto. MacIntosh lives in Winnipeg with his Lynda.

The rack stayed there until recently when it taken down as it was suffering damage from the wear and tear of the kitchen.

"I remember is that I was asked to do these caricatures of the kitchen staff for some special occasion," Abbott says. "I can’t give you a date but if you can find records of when that crew was all together in the kitchen you will have it.

 "Many of the staff at that time loved to hang out in the Cook's Shack as it was relatively isolated yet close to everything. Laurie always had a great music collection and we could play it loud as the dining hall buffered the noise."(The shack or cabin was torn down several years ago.)

Kitchen staff circa 1975. Head cook  Laurie MacIntosh is on the far right with  Dennis Dyke, Bob Berry, Vern Bloomfield and Paul (?).

Abbott, a counsellor and tripper at camp, says he still has numerous paddles lying around from camp.

“One of my prized items was a set of moose antlers that we brought back from our six week trip. Burton Tutt (Boryen) fashioned an elegant curved shield to fit across the skull of the horns and I painted our names and a few things about the trip on it.

“It was one of the first trophies six weekers brought back and it was hung in the dining hall, thereafter it became a tradition.

The rack can be seen over the kitchen door. Ted Spear is seated at the table on the left in the plaid shirt.

“About 10 years ago my good friend and fellow six-weeker Ted Spear realized that all these trophies including our ‘rack’ had been removed from the dining hall and lay forgotten at the back of the boathouse.

“We decided to save it so under the cover of darkness we slipped into camp and stole our rack. It hung in our family boathouse for several years about two miles from camp until one day I felt badly enough to return it. I do not know if it is still at camp.

“There is one camp item that I very much treasure. I have always wondered what I should do with it. On our six week trip our leader Don Taylor kept a detailed diary. When we returned from the trip I had my mother type Don’s diary and I made a book with a cover made out of deer hide. As well as the diary itself the book included some sketches of mine, a newspaper article from the Thompson Citizen (we were celebrities), and a collection of all the letters I’d written home in a little pouch on the back cover.

“If I say so myself it is a nice piece and thanks to Don not bad reading either. It is safely stored at my cottage near camp.

“If you feel there is a more appropriate home for it I would consider donating it to the camp.”

- Brad Abbott