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Pumpkin regatta for the win: West Hants Historical Society engages youth through LEGO contest

Ten-year-old Lilly Mailman shows off her first place LEGO creation. It will remain on display at the West Hants Historical Society until the end of the month.
Ten-year-old Lilly Mailman shows off her first place LEGO creation. It will remain on display at the West Hants Historical Society until the end of the month. - Carole Morris-Underhill
WINDSOR, N.S. —

Lilly Mailman felt fairly confident that she had designed a winning entry when she submitted her LEGO creation into a West Hants Historical Society contest.

Mailman, a 10-year-old paddler, felt inspired to create a scene that represented the Windsor West Hants Pumpkin Regatta.

“Well, I paddle every day on the Pisiquid lake and I remember the pumpkin regatta from last year and it was really nice to see everybody gather together and really celebrate the community,” said Mailman when she picked up her prize on Aug. 8. “And it looks really cool, and I really like playing with Lego.”

This was her first time entering a LEGO building competition.

“I play with LEGO a lot. And I really like it. And I really enjoy it. And it's really fun. And of course, my dad helped me — I didn't do this all on my own,” she said, as her dad, David Mailman, a volunteer firefighter, chuckled in the background.

As a member of the Pisiquid Canoe Club, Mailman said her teammates liked her design and cast votes for her entry.

Several children between the ages of two to 12 years old entered the July competition, with displays ranging from local events (like the regatta and the Hants County Exhibition) to historical moments in time (like Acadians haying on the dikes). Visitors to the museum were encouraged to vote for their favourite piece, with voting closing on July 26.

Alec Margolian, the West Hants Historical Society’s summer interpretive museum guide, shows off the LEGO display housed at the museum. All of the entries were created by local children. - Carole Morris-Underhill photos
Alec Margolian, the West Hants Historical Society’s summer interpretive museum guide, shows off the LEGO display housed at the museum. All of the entries were created by local children. - Carole Morris-Underhill photos

 

Carole Anne Casey, the vice-president of the West Hants Historical Society, and Alec Margolian, the museum’s summer interpretive guide, said they were impressed with the range of entries and the number of youth that were stopping by the museum.

“We've definitely noticed an increase in youth this year,” she said.

“It got kids in to look (around),” Casey added, noting that they hope to hold another creative contest next summer.

Casey said it was also rewarding to see so many families working together on the LEGO project, brainstorming ideas and building the scenes.

Gavin Dunfield’s future Windsor fire station proposal garnered him a second-place finish in the competition.
Gavin Dunfield’s future Windsor fire station proposal garnered him a second-place finish in the competition. He was the first child to enter the LEGO contest.

The artwork will be on display until the end of August. Both the winner and the volunteers at the museum say it’s well worth the visit. Not only can they check out the LEGO creations, but they can tour the museum and learn more about Windsor’s rich history. There’s no admission fee, though donations are appreciated.

“I think all of them are really, really good. And I think that everybody out there should come take a look and see that everybody did a really good job on this,” Mailman said.

And the winners are…

• First place, Lilly Mailman for her pumpkin regatta scene

• Second place, Gavin Dunfield for his future Windsor fire station proposal

• Third place, Lochlan MacRae for his depiction of the Windsor waterfront

• President’s Choice (honourable mention), Crofton Perth for celebrating 254 years of the Hants County Exhibition

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