Any way the wind blows…

Did you know that you do not need to live in Scotland to access Future Pathways’ support? Ian, who registered with Future Pathways in 2019, was sent to Australia as a child migrant. He has lived there since he was around 7 years old. Ian is also supported by Tuart Place, a West Australian support service for adults who were in any type of out-of-home care when they were children, including former child migrants.
Here, Ian shares his talent for model making.

Ian started making model windmills when he retired about 12 years ago. Since then, he has made around 2,500 of them! Ian explains, “It’s just something that I taught myself to do because I knew all about them after working in the bush and on farms”.

Ian was of the generations that depended on windmills more than most because he grew up in rural, remote areas. Years ago in Australia, these windmills were everywhere, even in the suburbs. It was the main way for many people to draw water up to the surface.

A man wearing a hat, jacket and t shirt looks directly at the viewer. He is holding a handmade windmill which is white with blue sails.
A model windmill with a white base, blue ladder and blue sails.

Talking about making his windmills, Ian shares:

“I get a lot of pleasure out of it. I make the frame one day then the next day do the spindle at the top. It takes me about 10 hours to make one, whatever the size. The bigger ones are easier to make because you can get your hand in. My design is good too because I put extra things in, like chairs on each landing. Some of the windmills are quite small, others are as tall as a person. When it comes to the end of making one, I’m so happy.”

Ian, who recently turned 80 but says he feels about 40, makes windmills in all different colours. He has used football colours, Irish colours, aboriginal colours (red, black and yellow), and others are silver, like windmills in the bush. Ian made one in yellow and blue which was auctioned off to raise money for Ukraine. Another he made as tall as a door which raised $1500 for kids. He even presented one to a member of the Australian parliament who came to Tuart Place and took it back to Canberra with them.

Three silver model windmills.

Ian’s talents extend to other models too:

“I’ve also made a model of Sydney Harbour Bridge about 3 meters long, and a beautiful dolls house on wheels. I even made the furniture to go into it and battery-operated lights. That one got raffled at Tuart Place. Everyone who sees my models, they fall in love with them.”

And now Ian’s windmills have even travelled half-way around the world to Scotland after he very kindly made one for Future Pathways, and we love it! As Ian put it, “it’s a little bit of Ian and a little bit of Australia, in the middle of Scotland.”

A man sitting in a white vest, cap and jeans looking directly at the viewer. He is holding a white model windmill and there are model windmills either side of him.
Growing stronger together

Tuart Place is a support service for adults in Western Australia who were in any kind of out-of-home care when they were children. Funded by the state government, it is based in the city of Freemantle, just south of Perth. Its motto is ‘growing stronger together’, and it provides a lot of different services, including counselling, social activities, informal support groups, training courses and records tracing

Read more

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