This Wednesday afternoon November 7th, Parker Academy hosted a special visitor, Hal Liberty.
Hal has an extensive woodcraft shop in Bradford, where for 33 years in his retirement, he has been making wooden toys for children who otherwise would have little if anything under the tree. Parker students have been volunteering to help Hal with this project for ten years, and it has been a great collaboration.
Hal spoke to the school about his background, how he got into this project, and who are the volunteers and beneficiaries. He also brought many samples of his work, to the delight of students and teachers, including planes of all types, cars, trucks, and even a cradle. All are handcrafted from a variety of woods – including mahogany, maple, and walnut – and are designed to be completely safe for use by any child.
When Parker students are volunteering at his wood-shop, Hal walks them through safety procedures, then sets each up at a particular station, instructing them how to operate the various machines used to make the toys at different stages in the process. Hal is personable, jovial, and very patient, and his love of making toys for kids is infectious. At the end of his presentation, Hal was presented with a Parker t-shirt and a certificate conferring on him the title of “Honorary Industrial Arts Teacher.” Oh, and he is 85.
By Joe Webster