The craftsmanship of College of New Caledonia (CNC) carpentry students will help the flags fly during the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championship Feb. 15 and 24.
CNC’s Foundation Level Carpentry program often allows students the opportunity to work on projects benefitting different aspects of the community, said instructor Chris Kelly. For this project, students were given a full timber more than five metres long.
“Carpenters don’t get to work with such large pieces of full timber that often,” Kelly said. “It’s a good experience for students because they have to adapt and make a plan that’s going to work for the requirements of the project.”
When the timber arrived at CNC, it took eight people to lug it into the shop. Figuring out how to cut it was a process of a trial and error according to CNC Foundation Level Carpentry student Matthew Worthington.
First, the students made a three-inch cut using a circular saw before going at the timber with a hand saw.
“But that turned out to be very difficult to keep a cut straight on the line,” said Worthington. “These types of challenges are part of being a carpenter. We moved onto a chain saw and that worked quite well.”
The timber was then cut into thirds and holes for seven flag poles per piece were measured and drilled. Having their work be a part of the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championship is a significant experience for CNC carpentry student Ming Wu.
“This is awesome for me because I’ve never done anything like this before,” he said. “I’m glad I got to work on something good for Prince George and CNC.”
Worthington is hoping to catch some of the action of Para Nordic Skiing Championship as well as see his work at either the opening or closing ceremonies.
“It's pretty amazing to be a part of a foundation program and have access to projects like this,” he said. "Any way we can gain more experience while delivering a token to the community is fantastic.”
All the work CNC’s Foundation Level Carpentry students put into the Para Nordic flag pole project counts as part of the 480 hours Foundational Level Carpentry students accumulate towards their apprenticeship.
“As an instructor, I enjoy inspiring people by showing them they are able to do these type of projects,” Kelly said. If we’re able to give back to the community while doing that, that's always a positive too."
The 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships run in Prince George from Feb. 15 to 24. For more information, visit https://www.paralympic.org/prince-george-2019. It is the first time the city has hosted a global event.