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  • May 16, 2018 1:40 PM | David Eddy (Administrator)

    NRG LIFE MEMBER John H. Harland passed away on May 11 at age 95. John was a frequent contributor to the Journal and author of five books. Over the years John was always willing to assist us when we needed to get questions answered that needed an expert. He was always willing and able to help. When the Board bestowed Life Membership to John he was very honored and emotional in his thanks to the NRG and said he wished he had been able to do more for us and the hobby.

    The following is the family's announcement.

    HARLAND, John Harford

    May 8, 1923 - May 11, 2018

    John developed an intense interest in ships and sailors at an early age; and enjoyed visiting the Belfast docklands as a boy and making ship models.

    He enrolled as a medical student at Queen's University in Belfast in 1940, but after two years of medical school, volunteered to join the Royal Navy in December 1942. After a time at sea on a coal burning minesweeper he was promoted Sub-Lieutenant and served on Motor Launches in West Africa and in South Africa where he sailed motor fishing vessels from Capetown to Durban and served at the Naval Air Station in Capetown. Leaving the Navy as a Lieutenant he returned to university and graduated as a doctor in December 1949. He married Janet Morrison just after graduation, and they immigrated to Kamloops, BC in February 1951 where he worked as a family physician. He trained for his Fellowship in Anesthesiology at Vancouver and Duke University in North Carolina. Joining Underhill Clinic in Kelowna in 1960 as a general practitioner and working as an anesthesiologist at the Kelowna General Hospital, John retired in 1986.

    During naval service he developed a special interest in sailing warships and steam whale catchers, which later resulted in book research and publication. John authored five books on maritime history:

    Seamanship in the Age of Sail with Mark Myers (1984) Catchers and Corvettes: The Steam Whale Catcher in Peace And War 1860-1960 (with John McKay 1992) The Flower Class Corvette HMCS Agassiz with John McKay (1993) Ships And Seamanship: The Maritime Prints of JJ Baugean (2000) Captains And Windlasses: An Illustrated History of their use at Sea (2003).

    Translating Peter Kirsch's Fireship: The Terror Weapon of the Age of Sail (2009) from German to English and contributing many articles to nautical journals.

    Always a prolific reader; in the course of fieldwork he became familiar with several foreign languages reading German and speaking French and Norwegian.

    On April 10, 2017 John was presented with the SS Beaver Award by the Victoria-based Maritime Museum of BC, he was recognized for his internationally respected maritime publications that feature advanced knowledge about sailing ship technology.

    John has donated his entire library of books to the Naval Marine Archive Canadian Collection in Picton, Ontario.

    Janet and John were happily married for 68 years. Janet and John travelled much of Europe and Greece from 1970-1990 enjoying memorable holidays. Janet was the love of John's life.

    John was an intelligent and talented man in the breadth and width of his interests and pursuits including a passion for X-country skiing. John was a true gentleman and a scholar; he was a remarkable researcher, historian and writer and a fascinating person to talk to. John led a long and interesting life and will be missed by family and friends.

    Three children: Jan and (Joe), Chris and (Stuart), Jack and (Lise), four grandchildren: Christina and (Dom), Jillian and (Ivo), Ian and Matthew and three great grandchildren: Harlow, Stevie and Leo will never forget this inspirational member of the family.

    THANK YOU to the nurses and staff at Central Okanagan Hospice House for their kindness and the comforting surroundings.

    "May he have fair winds and a following sea wherever he's bound we shall sorely miss him."

  • May 11, 2018 1:44 PM | David Eddy (Administrator)

    The NRG seeks a new Director and individuals willing to help with special projects.

    As the result of a recent resignation, the Nautical Research Guild is actively recruiting for a new Director to help lead the NRG now and into the future. And you may just be the perfect person to help the NRG remain the premier ship modeling organization in the world.

    We are seeking a motivated individual, in touch with the hobby, with some great ideas who is willing to pitch in and help to improve the Nautical Research Guild and to further advance the hobby of model ship building. The Board has many needs, including help with business administration; annual conference planning; membership recruitment and promotion; a variety of special projects; and many, many more activities. Currently, our biggest need is an individual with a background in marketing. If you have marketing experience, we need to talk! Your relative skill level as a model builder is not a factor in serving as a Director; we only seek motivated individuals with a keen interest in the hobby and a commitment to help continually improve the NRG.

    Now, some of you might be saying to yourselves you wouldn't mind helping out the NRG board with one or more of its needs, but you really don't want to become a Director at this time. And that's just fine from our perspective. We would welcome your help with one or more special projects without the full commitment of becoming a Director.

    If you are interested in serving in this exciting opportunity, or just want more information about this position or the activities the NRG needs help with, please contact the Board Chair, Mitch Michelson, or (210-860-1587) no later than Friday, May 25th. We guarantee this is an opportunity you'll be glad and proud for which you stepped up and volunteered.

    Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you soon. You won't regret it!

  • March 15, 2018 1:49 PM | David Eddy (Administrator)


    The plans and monograph are now available to build a late 19th century, Generic East Coast Oyster Sharpie.  Visit the NRG store to see more or purchase today!

    The eleven sheets of CAD plans and the 277-page, step-by-step monograph are designed as an introduction to scratch building a small work boat in a miniature version of a full-size board for board build. This project was created primarily for modelers of intermediate level of skill or experience with special instructions for those with limited access to power tools. This project will also appeal to all work boat fans and those wanting a change from long-term projects.

    The project was designed and written for the NRG by William "Bill" Strachan with the plans were done by Al Saubermann, both members of the NRG and the CT Marine Model Society.

    Bill Strachan is a retired Enrolled Agent and an avid miniaturist. Early in the 1980's he was the Comptroller for an architectural firm and had the opportunity to build all their architectural models. In the 1990's he joined the SW FL Shipmodeler's Guild. He served the Guild as Bosun and Newsletter Editor. Retirement meant moving to CT, and he became Secretary and Newsletter editor for the CT Marine Model Society he also served as Vice President of CMMS until last fall. Bill and his wife Sue live in Wolcott, CT.

    Al Saubermann is a retired physician whose career in academic medicine spanned 45 years. He's been building model ships for over 35 years including scratch building for the last 10. He recently completed a board model of the USS Peacock (1813) built from the original plans conserved in the National Archives. He currently serves as Secretary for the Connecticut Marine Model Society. Al and his wife Olga live in Deep River Connecticut.

    Plans from Mystic Seaport and the Mariners' Museum and books by Howard Chapelle and others are the reference sources for this 3/4" = 1'0" scale model, and presents three options to choose from to complete your model.

    The 277 page, monograph contains 441 color photographs and diagrams to guide the builder. Referenced and quoted sources are footnoted for the modeler and a bibliography is provided. The monograph is provided as a free PDF download from the NRG web site. They are also available on a flash drive for an additional charge.

    The plans are shipped rolled in a sturdy box.

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