January 20, 2020

PHOTO BY KAREN HAYNES Peter Findlay, a retired Conestoga faculty member, displays a Noah’s ark replica he hand-carved for Castle Kilbride in Baden, Ont. Findlay displayed the ark along with many of his tools and other creations at Bingeman’s woodworking show in Kitchener on March 18.

By KAREN HAYNES

He’s considered a master woodworker, and for good reason.
Peter Findlay, a retired woodworking faculty member from Conestoga College, has completed enough projects to warrant this superior title.
These projects include a 52-inch quarter-scale model of a 1931 Chrysler Imperial and a child’s Noah’s ark replica commissioned by Castle Kilbride in Baden, Ont. Both give strong evidence to his passion for woodworking.
 “It’s all about the process,” Findlay said in reference to each project as he watches them come to fruition.
This is a reoccurring theme that runs through Findlay’s life. Another theme that he incorporated into his 20 of years teaching while at Conestoga was being prepared for each opportunity leads to success.
Suitably, his life’s story mimics this recipe for success. Working 20 years in the woodworking industry prepared him for the teaching opportunity he had at Conestoga, he said.
This formula was again mirrored in his approach to teaching. Taking advantage of each “teachable moment” in the hallway or in shop class he said was one way he reached the students and prepared them for future opportunities.
And his students were grateful for the extra efforts Findlay made. This was evident at Bingeman’s woodworking show held March 16 to 18 in Kitchener, where many of his former students paid him a visit to talk shop and offer updates on their current careers.
“I’ve seen over a dozen former students this weekend.”
And yet, despite spending 20 years teaching his trade at Conestoga, Findlay is not a self-proclaimed academic. Instead, Findlay sees himself as an artist.
“I’m a spacial person, seeing things more in 3D, as they are designed.”