By David MacDonald R oger, did you ever get a chance to meet your mentor? E: My wife and I actually did meet B. Allen Mackie when we were out in BC. He had started a school, a school of log building, and I had tried to get in but it was booked three or four years in advance. Things were really booming then. Allen started traveling to give short one and two week courses and after I returned to NS I was able to get in on one of those. What I really respected about the man – he actually passed away last year – was his philosophy that you should share what you know. If you figure out a better way to do something you should share that knowledge with anyone else doing what you’re doing – that way everybody benefits. As I mentioned earlier, that really spoke to my wife and I. There was a lot of log building going on in the 1930s. The Chateau Montebello in Quebec, which is the largest log building in the world, was built in the ‘30s. But the thou- sands of guys who built that, who figured out how to do what they did there, they kept their methods a secret. They thought that sharing that knowledge would diminish their work somehow. I never understood that. “What I really respected about the man – he actually passed away last year – was his philosophy that you should share what you know.” You’ve worked on a few historic log buildings yourself, haven’t you? RE: I worked out in Northern British Columbia for two years on log buildings built in the 1890s; it was a National Historic Park at Fort St. James. We were doing both resto- ration work and we were reconstructing. I stayed there for a couple of years and then I came back to Nova Scotia and started building log homes. What was your first year in-business like? RE: The first log building I did I built on spec: I bought logs and built the shell and put it up for sale and was able to sell it – so that was a good start. I had an old friend, Mike Coyle, who I went to high school with and he was interest- ed in log buildings – and he had taken the course from B. Allen Mackie. Another fellow, Rick McMahon, was also interested in the trade and it didn’t make much sense for us to be working against each other so we joined-up and started Heartwood Log Homes in 1984. We built log homes together for 24 years, until 2008. In 2008 it had come to the point where we decided that it was better if just one of us kept the company going – and so I did that; I kept it. My



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