Passing Notes - West Wind Hardwood

Raymond Harry Franklin

It’s been a sad few months.  Where there is birth, there must be death as the cycle of life completes to an end.  We lost a fine friend, loyal customer and most talented wood turner in December. To sadden the loss, he was a grandfather to our valued employee, Gordon Aggus.  Gordon has written this tribute to his granddad and provided the photos.

Raymond Harry Franklin was born in England before WWII in 1934. He developed a keen love for wood while he was in school but did not pursue it until after he moved to Canada, Ontario.  After working on a few farms he decided to try his hand at construction and became a crane operator.  My favourite building that he worked on was the CN tower.

During his time in Canada, his love for woodturning grew and he found that he was quite good at it; surprising considering how big his hands where.  In the late 80’s he took a holiday trip out to the west coast. He fell in love with the Saanich Peninsula and immediately bought a home while still on vacation.

Continuing his love for wood turning he helped start up a group that would become known as the Vancouver Island Turners’ Association.  A local restaurant in Sidney had some amazing Greek vases; they were the inspiration for his well-known segmented vases.

Ray Franklin was a great man who had many titles: wood turner, crane operator and many more; the two he was most proud of were father and grandfather. He will be sorely missed.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Gordon,

    Loved the story about your grandfather Ray and I’m sorry for your loss. I recently found this beautiful small wooden vase but only now do I know the story of the man that made. I will truly treasure it.

    Thank You,
    Joe

  2. Ray was an amazing woodworker and gardener. He was an inspiration to me and I treasure the time we had together. Even his tips on sharpening were priceless. I was an unworthy member of his woodturning group briefly. Tim Martens.

  3. Ray was an amazing woodworker and gardener. He was an inspiration to me and I treasure the time we had together. Even his tips on sharpening were priceless. I was an unworthy member of his woodturning group briefly.

    A story on the set of three vases. He entered them into a competition, to transport them to the show he needed boxes so he quickly built three. When he got to the show, he needed plinths so he used the boxes. The judge noticed the perfection of the workmanship and proportions of the boxes and of course the vases. That was what set his work apart from the rest.

    Tim Martens.

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