Meander model restored – by Robert G. Allan, P.Eng.

October 24, 2014


As well documented in Western Mariner (March and August 2013), the Motor Yacht Meander was built by W.R. Menchions boatbuilders in 1934 for Mr. George Kidd of Vancouver, to a design by Robert Allan B.Sc., also of Vancouver. Also mentioned in that capsule of the yacht’s history was the fact in that same year 18 year old Robert F (Bob) Allan built a 1/24 scale model of the yacht and sold it to Mr. Kidd, helping to pay his university tuition!

After my father’s death in 1981, I spent a fair amount of time trying to track down that model. At one stage I had seen it in the basement storage area of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, but it then disappeared from there. However recently I took up the task again and was I able to track the model down in the home of Mr. Peter Kidd, great-nephew of George Kidd. After some discussions about the concept of restoring the model, as it was somewhat the worse for wear after 80 years, Peter and his family very graciously agreed to turn the model over to me for that purpose, then to be permanently on display in the offices of Robert Allan Ltd.

We engaged the talented Mr Lucian Ploias, model builder at the Vancouver Maritime Museum to do the restoration work. This work was completed in early October and on October 17 a small “launching party” was held at our offices to celebrate the renewal of the model.

Pictured below are everyone connected with this story: (from left to right)

Ken Harford – President of Robert Allan Ltd – sponsors of the restoration
Teodor Ploias – son of the model restorer
Dana Ploias – wife of Lucian
Lucian Ploias – model restorer
Arden Kidd – wife of Peter Kidd
Peter Kidd – great-nephew of George Kidd
Susan Shield – daughter of Peter & Arden
Jan Iliffe – Co-Owner of the “real” Meander
Paul Shield (back) – Susan’s husband
Dennis Feroce – Owner of the “real” Meander
Enneke Allan – wife of Rob Allan
Rob Allan – Grandson of the designer/son of the original model builder

Also involved in the restoration project but unable to attend were David Kidd and Jennifer (Kidd) Rees.

Lucian did a wonderful job of carefully bringing this beautiful model back to life, and it is now preserved in a fully enclosed case to ensure its longevity for hopefully another few generations. The work was toasted with a few glasses of champagne amongst these families and friends who are so united through this beautiful, historic BC yacht (and its little friend!).

The photos below show more details of the restored model, reflecting the craftsmanship of both the young original builder and the restorer. The last photo shows the model under the gaze of original designer and model builder alike. All present agreed that both of them and George Kidd would have been very pleased to see this historic model in its new home in such pristine condition!