Do we even imagine what we will be when we grow up? I’m not sure if our neighbour Allan Gillard did, when he lived in South Brook so many decades ago. Many people may not even guess at what their lifelong love and passion will be. On the other hand, perhaps Allan did draw and paint even back then and enjoyed it very much! If I ever get to speak with him, I will ask him. JUst a few days ago I learned that Allan is also a musician, so he is a multi-talented individual! It amazes me that he has so many gifts to share with others!
Allan is the brother of Neil, Marilyn and June Gillard. I remember when they attended Holy Rosary School in Pasadena. Marilyn was in my grade so I knew her best of all. Allan is also the nephew of Ben Gillard, and I have several of his art prints, one print in particular is of the school I taught in for fifteen years. I was surprised when I went to buy the print at the Avalon Mall, and Ben happened to be there at the time. He was very courteous and he came out to speak with me for a few minutes. I told him I already had his lobster print and liked his work very much. I did ask him about Neil and Allan at that time.
Many of you probably do not know what a talented person Allan is, so I will show you some of his artwork. In the article below from The Evening Telegram, you can see his painting “The Red Door”. Look at the detail in his paintings and the colors, so real that you feel like reaching out and touching each door, leaf, or puffin.
Many years ago I saw one print of a woodburning of a train with a man playing an accordion. I’ve been trying to buy this piece of art ever since. My friend Linda was given one by the artist. I recall saying to her, “How lucky are you that the artist gifts you with an accordion player!”
One time at school I wanted to do a display about trains in Newfoundland and this print would have come in handy. No one on our staff had the print and I had no idea where I could reach Allan Gillard, so I did the display without it. In the back of my mind, I continue to search for it and know that one day I will have it displayed on my living room wall!
My brother Brian also had a print of the Steel Rail Waltz.(Thanks, Nikk for this piece of information). He is fortunate to have such a unique piece by his South Brook neighbour Allan. I offered to buy it from him, but he didn’t want to part with it, although he did promise he would try to get a copy for me. He is so busy these days that I’m sure that’s the last thing on his mind when he returns home to Newfoundland after working away for weeks at a time! So I will continue to search and perhaps one day this print will miraculously show up at my home in St. Shotts or Torbay!
Read more about a former resident of South Brook:
Art Prints by Ben Gillard
- Atlantic Puffin shows up in downtown Montreal (cbc.ca)
- Wayward puffin getting a lift back to Newfoundland (news.nationalpost.com)
- Wayward puffin headed back to Newfoundland (canada.com)
- Puffin safe after hitching ride to Montreal (ctv.ca)
- Lost puffin found 1,000 km away in downtown Montreal (ctv.ca)
- Wayward puffin a step closer to Atlantic Ocean (cbc.ca)
Note: If anyone knows where I can purchase a copy of the train print, please contact me in a comment or email. Thanks!