George Gouldburn, 1928–2012
It is with much sadness that I announce that our Mystery Tool columnist, George Gouldburn, passed away last night. He was diagnosed with lung cancer early last month and succumbed yesterday. He was 83. My sympathies, and those of everyone here at Canadian Home Workshop, go out to his family, especially his wife, Margaret.
I had been working with George since I started with the magazine, about five years ago. Our relationship started over phone and email as most professional ones do, but then I started visiting his house and his amazing tool room at least once a year. He would generously give his time and patiently answer all my questions about the old and sometimes far-out tools in his collection.
And, I would give him a hard time.
“Do you know what this is?” he would ask showing me a tool.
“Oh yeah. That’s a special tool for trimming a dinosaur’s nose hairs,” I’d answer. George would chuckle and then tell me what it really was. His knowledge of tools was encyclopedic.
George had been with the magazine since 1994, sharing his tools with us and the words for his column. It was one of our most popular features, a guessing game that anyone could play. He started collecting tools when he was the superintendent of public works in Oshawa, Ont. Upon retirement, his hobby turned into a second career. He started G&G Antiques and would head across Canada and the U.S. to antique tool shows. At his tool collection’s height, it contained more than 4,000 hand planes. And his collection was more than just hand planes. There were lead-pouring ladles, mitre clamps, cherry pitters, jointer gauges, dengle stocks and much, much more.
George’s last column will run in the September issue. For more on George, his profile from the October 2007 issue.
I, and all of us at CHW, will miss him very much.