Despite being retired, Malcolm Buckmaster is a very busy man. A self-confessed ‘workshop maker and hobbyist’, Malcolm enjoys a few hands-on activities that keep him mentally engaged.
Whilst he enjoys doing the gardening and housekeeping at his home at Shanagolden Retirement Village in Pakenham, it’s the activities that involve using his head and his hands that Malcolm is passionate about, including making models and tools.
“I think activities that are hands-on are good for your well being, which supports the rest of one’s health condition,” he says.
“I think there’s something special about (making models). Some people do crafts and that’s the same sort of thing, you’re making, producing, designing and decorating. That’s what I enjoy.”
Malcolm keeps himself very busy in his workshop creating electric powered models. He is currently recreating one of the oldest powered vessels in the world, which operates on Lake Windemere in England.
“When we went there, it was very classy, and historical, so I went and made one of those in the lounge. It’s the only one I am allowed to have in the house! It is very graceful and picturesque. It’s a reminiscence of our trip to England.”
Malcolm enjoys making working models of memorable objects that he, and his wife Edna have seen on their travels, including the oldest flying aircraft in the world, from 1912. That piece hangs up in his workshop. For him, the workshop is a refuge and a recovery place.
“We are creatures with imperatives and design capabilities. When you are doing something like this, you’re more fulfilled. That’s what it’s all about.”
Malcolm believes it’s important that we find an activity or a hobby that we can enjoy and get fulfillment out of, no matter our age. He has encouraged his two grandsons to buy 3D printers, to help them gain a better understanding of their university studies. He himself has a 3D printer which he uses to print pieces for his models, which he designs himself.
“I like to have a go and I’m not an expert, but you get a knack to be able to do those things if you have an interest in it.
“What we have in the village is a wealth of experience and capacity, but it is being subdued with old age. But when you talk to the guys and ladies here, they’ve done some amazing things. Some are hobbyists, and some are crafts people. There has been a lot of great work that has been done. That’s another aspect of what I am saying, it’s about making things with your hands and your head.
“There is a lot of knowledge which will be lost over time, and sometimes it’s not all that obvious but (that knowledge and skill) is there, and I certainly believe it should be encouraged.”