The Story

Bernard and Helga Schimmel next to cheeseboard

continued from home page...

It takes time to build up a network of people. It takes time to build relationships. It takes timing to be at the right spot at the right time when that tree needs to come down, when those limbs are a safety concern to the public, when a tree matures, or when an excess snow load breaks off a branch or two. When Bernard stands there looking at that tree trunk, branch or limb, it is at that point where experience and creativity counts . . to visualize what can be crafted to bring out stunningly beautiful examples of Nature’s design capabilities. With each piece that is crafted, there is great respect for the natural character and imperfections. The natural shapes, holes, curves and “live edges” tell him that each piece of wood is "unique". The grain, colour, special markings and scars all add to the character and express the conditions, happenings, events and history of each piece.

To make room for the new buildings, a row of Sugar Maple Trees had to be removed. He asked the construction supervisor if he could have a piece of wood from the trees to make a little table for people to perhaps remember the past.

Bernard was very fortunate a few years ago when he became involved with the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. Because of 3 serious situations from which Bernard recovered fully, he really appreciated the seamless and efficient operation of RVH’s nurses and doctors and felt a little donation back to the Hospital would be in order. On March 09, 2009, an addition of a new Cancer Treatment Centre and another 100 bed extension was started. To make room for the new buildings, a row of Sugar Maple Trees had to be removed. He asked the construction supervisor if he could have a piece of wood from the trees to make a little table for people to perhaps remember the past.Sure, he says, bring your pickup truck and let me load a piece. However, before the conversation was finished, he also asked Bernard if he could make something for their construction company as a gift to the hospital and as a thank you for the $250 Million contract. What was that he asked? Well, Mikko replied, can you make a 25 ft x 5 1/2 ft. Boardroom Table out of “one” of those trees? A few minutes later, after walking back and forth along the still standing trees, Bernard also said, "Yes".

After viewing the partially completed boardroom table, the Art and Decorating Committee decided it should not be hidden upstairs in the boardroom, but displayed prominently the a public area of the Hospital. This was truly an honour for Bernard.

RVH Fundraiser features tables and cheeseboards made from RVH Maples
RVH Fundraiser features tables and cheeseboards made from RVH Maples
Helga with 25 foot table top in RVH
Massive boardroom table top crafted from harvested maple trees at RVH