The Ireland Monument Committee express our deep gratitiude to David Preston Smith and Dr. Garth Vaughan for their help and assistance to the Ireland Monument.
Artists for the Ireland Monument
Garth Vaughan, and his good friend David Preston Smith are Nova Scotia-based
artists, both of whom have made huge contributions to the Ireland Monument.
Garth was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia and from childhood was obsessed with art,
drawing, painting and wood carving. He worked his way through college painting
signs and billboards. He was cartoonist for the Dal Gazette during student days
when he also illustrated The Gist of Obstetrics for Dr. H. B. Atlee. Later, he
illustrated Smoke Over Grand Pre (Breakwater Press) and Farm Tales (Lancelot
Press). Garth produced an amazing body of visual art while he was busy with his
career as a general surgeon in Windsor from 1960 until his retirement in 1990.
Although he intended to do art full time in retirement, for the next five years
he devoted himself to researching the origin of Ice Hockey in Nova Scotia. He
was able to show that the game developed from the Irish field game of
Hurling/Hurley by students at King’s College School in Windsor, Nova Scotia,
circa 1800. (The first Principal of the school was William Cochran, an Irishman
from Omagh who was educated at Trinity College in Dublin.) Garth wrote a
Canadian best-seller entitled The Puck Starts Here and travelled from coast to
coast on a Canada Council grant promoting the book in 1996. He then founded the
Windsor Hockey Heritage Society and Hockey Museum which houses photos and
artifacts which he amassed during research. Along with his daughter Holly
Hammett Vaughan as web designer, he then developed the now world-popular
<birthplaceofhockey.com> website, which attracts more than 250,000 visitors
annually. At age 80, Garth continues to paint both in watercolor and oil at his
retirement home and studio in Cape Breton along with his wife and fellow artist
(painter, weaver, potter) Lauren.
David Preston Smith is a world-class illustrator and historical researcher who
lives at Upper Tantallon, Head of Saint Margaret’s Bay, Halifax County, NS.
David launched his career with NASA as a concept illustrator, and has worked as
the official sports artist for many of Canada’s premier sporting events,
including the Canada Cup Hockey Series, the Olympic Games, and the Beothuk
series of illustrations for Memorial University of Saint Johns NF. He is also a
renowned wildlife illustrator and has currently illustrated The Young Joe Howe,
Peggy of Peggy’s Cove, and most recently, a new edition of Anne of Green Gables.
His best known recent work is the moose image for the Canadian five dollar stamp
and coin released in 2004 by Canada Post and the Royal Canadian Mint. David is
also a hockey history fan, and when he heard about Garth’s work on the subject,
travelled to Windsor to meet him. As told by Garth’s wife Lauren, the story of
these two impassioned men meeting and talking for the first time is amusing.
David has a hearing problem and raises his voice to hear himself. Garth had to
raise his voice even louder in order to be heard by David. Eventually Lauren,
who had never met David before, had to come and see if there was a fight going
on! She found these two men standing at the dining room table, which was
littered with photographs, drawings, and hockey stories, yelling at each other
with huge smiles on their faces. They were both so excited about art and hockey
and of having found each other! That was the beginning of their friendship and
artistic collaboration. David soon illustrated Garth’s next children’s book,
Tommy’s New Block Skates, and they have plans for future projects. David was
chosen as the illustrator for the art work to be inscribed on the Ireland
Monument. The beauty and detailed content of his drawings is very telling about
the quality of the man both as an artist and as an historic researcher.