Why Making an Impact doesn’t have to be Loud…
Elliot Cristall: Pender Harbour’s "Quiet Carpenter"
Elliot Cristall was a member of the Pender Harbour Branch 112, quietly staying in the background for eleven years when he was called because some of their tables needed repair.
In 2015, Branch 112 had 13 laminated tables that had come unglued, broken or stained in some way. The Branch Secretary at the time knew a handyman who might be able to repair them. They took pictures of two of the tables and sent them off to Elliot. A few days later, Elliot came to the branch to repair both tables pictured only to find that there were thirteen tables that needed repair. He examined the tables and left.
A few days later Elliot returned to the branch and stated it wasn’t worth it to repair the tables; he would build new ones. “New ones? How much is that going to cost?”, the Branch President asked. A generous donor stepped up to provide funding for the materials and Elliott built seventeen beautiful oak-trimmed tables for the branch.
Shortly after he built the tables, the branch started a project to upgrade their kitchen.
Healthy Meals (meals on wheels) utilizes the kitchen every Monday to cook meals for the elderly and infirm. They had all their supplies, dishes and foods on shelving units scattered around the building. Elliott was heavily involved and instrumental in relocating all the old cupboards, constructing and laminating counters and backsplash in the prep and dishwashing area. “Once again, they are beautiful and functional.”, raves a Past Branch President of #112.
Since then, he’s continued to volunteer his time and expertise to the branch. The branch has been continuing to upgrade their building and Elliott has been their in-house finishing carpenter.
Over the years he has built:
- A wonderful stage and later expanded same stage.
- Light fixtures to hang over the pool table and shuffleboard.
- Additional cupboards for Healthy Meals.
- Two oak, rolling coat racks.
- Three new display cabinets for memorabilia.
- An outdoor cabinet for displaying Legion events and information.
- Additional kitchen counters and backsplash in the cooking area.
- An outdoor recycling storage shed.
- Uupgrade of the bathrooms on the pub side.
- Refinished the main entry and installed new lighting.
- Six new insulated pass through doors for the cooler.
- Plus, he secured a number of used awnings that were painted and installed over the emergency doors.
Recently, he built new doors, refinished surfaces and installed new hardware for the bar area. He cleaned up the area and installed a new cupboard.
Today, they have plans for a new coffee/tea counter, and storage shelving for glasses. He’ll build those too.
Pender Harbour Branch #112 provided funds for many of these projects, but Elliott has provided the expertise and labour. Not only has he been the branch’s “quiet carpenter”, he also helps with many of the branch events. Elliott Cristall has been a member of Pender Harbour Branch 112 for 17 years.
“Every branch should be fortunate enough to have a talented, dedicated volunteer like Elliott.”, said Ted Taylor, current Vice-President and Past President at Branch #112.
Honors and Awards
Royal Canadian Legion Life Member