b'Bay Company red, indigo green and yellow stripes on hisHe cant wait to get his favourite canoe, a 16 foot 1968 white canoe, a nod to the 350-year-old institution that startedChestnut Prospector, out on the water for a solo paddles. out with fur trading and evolved in a retail store chain. Ken still works full time running a contracting service Ken pointed out that canoes are a rich part of Canadianto the nuclear industry. Canoeing is his way to de-stress.history, dating back to the original birch bark canoes,Its relaxing to be out on the water, he commented. which inspired the production of wooden canoes.When you are paddling, you feel the calmness coming For example, the canoes produced by the Peterboroughover you. You can easily turn your canoe in any direction Canoe Company, formed in 1892, and the E. M. Whiteto see the nature all around you. Its mesmerizing.Canoe Company of Old Town, Maine, in business fromBy Lynn Campbell, Focus on ScugogThe gunnels hold the shape of the canoe1889 into the 1940s, are an important part of our North during the refurbishing process. American heritage.Originally built for water transporta-Ken cleaning. Ken, soloing one of his canoes on a vacation. tionbyindigenouspeopleandvoya-Born to Paddle (continued from page 3) geurs, canoes today are primarily used It takes a lot of problem solving. It gets the creativeHeres how it all began for recreation. The whole Graham family juicesowing, Ken explained. Taking a straight pieceKen grew up in Peterborough, and he has resided inloves paddling and has enjoyed outings of wood to a 90 degree bend takes skill. Port Perry for 30 years. He always loved being on thetogether on many waterways, including He pointed out that restoring a boat is more challeng- water.Lake Scugog and the Nonquon River. ing than building one from scratch, which he has alsoFrom age 10 to 16, Ken was a boy scout, part of theThey get together annually for a two accomplished. Brownsea Base. He enjoyed canoeing and kayaking fromweek canoe trip to the beautiful natural A few years ago, a friend dropped oan old E.M.the lake through the whitewater to the locks every sum- wildernessofTemagamiinNorthern White 14 canoe at Kens house in Port Perry.mer. When he was 16 years old, Ken started a summerOntario.ThegrownupGrahamkids, It had been stored in a boathouse for years and it wasjobasacanoeinstructoratCampKawarthanorthofKyra, a law student, Curtis, a rocket sci-in rough shape, Ken described. After some TLC, it wasLake eld. This kept him busy for three summers. entist, and Calum, an engineer, all look in great shape, and Ken donated it to the Rotary Gala.Those were good times, Ken reminisced. Rememberforward to this family tradition.It was very satisfying, seeing it auctioned oto raisewhen the Meatballs movie came out in 1978? That was soKenhasfondmemoriesofhis12- money for the community, commented Ken. Two yearsclose to what it was really like to be at camp. month-old baby babbling happily in thein a row, he donated refurbished canoes to the RotaryAs teens, his two older children followed in his foot- canoeduringapaddlingexcursionThe whole family uses the Club to help with their fundraising.steps and worked as canoe instructors and trip leaders atyears ago. paddles, also made by Ken the same camp. during canoe trips.Ken recalled the time that he met someone who was going to burn an old canoe. Ken rescued it. He put it on the roof of his vehicle, and set out to learn how to bring it back to a good, useable condition.A couple of retired, well-known boat builders in their 80s taught Ken a lot about boat restoration. They were happy to help and pass on ideas about replacing planking, etc. Ken commentedTeenaged Ken learned how tox wooden boats, most-ly canoes, but also sailboats, runabouts and ski s. FromThis 1904 Old Town was made in New age 16 and throughout his university years, Ken repairedYork State and Ken restored it and it now boats as a business. Now, its just a beloved hobby. adorns the ceiling in their living room. Most people have a coat hanger, but Ken andBoat restoration requires carpentry skills, noted Ken,More ceiling space, more canoes.Cathy hava a paddle hanger, which of course, who also spent years lovingly restoring his 170-year-oldThese are still on the list for restoration. Ken built too.Port Perry home.A mechanical engineer, Ken pointed out that his career skills are transferrable to his many unique hobbies. AsKens passion to restore canoes, leads to the serenity ofwell as restoring boats, he enjoys upholstering, restoringpaddling his own creations.old Singer sewing machines, and even building espresso co ee machines. His COVID project was designing and constructing an endless pool at his home. Ken has also handcrafted leather wallets and handbags to give as gifts.HiswifeCathyishispartnerintheseinteresting ventures. While Ken is in charge of the technical and mechanical side of things, Cathy is on hand for advice to make his creations aesthetically pleasing. We paint the canoes white so they are very visible on the water, Ken said.One of his sons chose to paint the distinctive Hudsons 4 FOCUS - SEPTEMBER 2022'