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Special pen presented on Anzac Day

Anzac Pool pens
Darren Reid presented Mayor Helen Blackburn with the pens which he crafted from timber reclaimed from the former Anzac Pool.

An experienced local woodturner has crafted a lasting memento from the former Anzac Pool facilities that was gifted at the Anzac Day Bundaberg Civic Service.

Darren Reid has decades of experience in the woodturning craft and after being provided with a length of timber from the pool site had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve.

He turned the timber into immaculate pens – a skill for which Darren is particularly well-known in the woodworking community.

One set of pens were gifted to Mayor Helen Blackburn and a single pen was presented to the officer taking the salute at the Bundaberg Civic Service, special guest Jenny Waldron.

Darren said the spotted gum may be a very common building material but he was honoured to be able to work with it and present it to the mayor.

“[It is] not a fancy timber by any means but it’s historical in the sense that it’s from the pool,” Darren said.

Knowing the presentation of one of the pens would take place on Anzac Day was a very moving thought for Darren which would see the memory of the pool live on.

“It makes me feel good,” he said.

“If the person gets as much enjoyment out of using the pen as I do making them then that’s what it’s all about.”

Each pen takes hours of work to handcraft but Darren said most of the work is in achieving the flawless finish.

He uses a lathe to spin the timber and cuts it to shape with chisels which, given his many decades of experience, is a quick process.

Next Darren spends hours sanding and finishing to ensure there is not a blemish or scratch marring the surface of the pens.

As a further nod to war service history Darren also used gun metal components within the pen gifted to Jenny.

Mayor Helen Blackburn said she was pleased to be part of the gift presentation.

“Darren has taken a very special concept and added it to his incredible personal skill to create a lasting memory of Anzac Pool,” Mayor Blackburn said.

“I thank Darren for his time in crafting the pens and adding this unique dimension to this year’s Civic Service commemorations.”

Darren continues to develop his woodturning hobby as a life member of the Bundaberg Woodworkers Guild and encouraged anyone interested in the craft – or any other woodworking craft – to visit the guild.

“That’s where I do a lot of the woodturning,” he said.

“Whether it’s stuff for the gift shop or people that come in for orders to have things fixed or made, I’m one of a few woodturners there that can do that for them.”

He also said he and other member of the guild were always happy to share their knowledge.

“That’s how a craft continues to grow.

“If everyone sits on their secrets and doesn’t pass on their knowledge then that craft dies.

“That’s the purpose of our guild – to try and get the younger ones in there and see what we do.

“Hopefully they find the same interest and love in what we do.”

The Bundaberg Woodworkers Guild is located at 95c Walker Street and is open to the public every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 8.30 am to 12 pm.

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