WOODTURNER Colin Horton (82) has signed off on making wooden handcrafted pens for graduates from John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School in Mirrabooka.
For the past 22 years, the Currambine resident took three months to create pens from sheoak – something he treated as his hobby.
However arthritis in his hands caught up with him while he was making more than 160 pens for this year’s graduates.
He has decided to retire because he can no longer maintain his high levels of precision in pen-making.
The school presented him with a gift and certificate at the Year 12 valedictory dinner last month.
Mr Horton said his manager at Salvation Army in Joondalup suggested he make the unique pens for the school.
“Originally, the wood that was used for making the pens came from the school’s grounds,” he said.
“John Septimus Roe is a massive school and they were expanding like mad and they had lots of trees.
“They were cutting the trees down and they had a very progressive gardener in charge who was cutting logs for me.
“I was allowing the logs to dry and cutting them up and making the pen blanks out of that.”
Mr Horton said he was sad to have stopped working on the pens but his arthritis had become a burden for the first time this year.
“I love working with wood – there is a tremendous amount of satisfaction when you turn something, you get this brilliant finish comes up and you assemble it,” he said.
“I still do a lot of woodwork and I also work as a volunteer for an organisation called Uniting Aid that deals with refugees in the City of Stirling.”
Principal Jason Bartell said generations of students have benefited from Mr Horton’s selfless and tireless commitment in creating their graduation gifts.
“Twenty-two years is a significant contribution to any organisation and Colin’s contribution to our school community was substantially meaningful, and will therefore be sorely missed,” he said.