Manor resident creates miniature village with massive holiday spirit

Bud McConnell, an 86-year-old Manitoulin Centennial Manor resident, shows off the miniature Christmas village he created with the help of his son and donations from the Island community. photo by Mike Farquhar

LITTLE CURRENT—Eighty-six-year-old Manitoulin Centennial Manor resident Bud McConnell has created a miniature Christmas village, complete with several buildings and a variety of lights and figurines.

“I’ve made a couple at my home over the years,” Mr. McConnell told The Expositor. “They were smaller than this one, but I would have them set up by the front door for people to see when they came to visit.”

Now an active resident at the Manor, involved in fundraising efforts and various activities including the Manor’s art program, Mr. McConnell thought he would create a larger village at the Manor for his fellow residents to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

“I talked to the Manor’s chef (Chris Lethbridge) first because he builds an amazing gingerbread village each year and I didn’t want to step on any toes, but he was supportive,” said Mr. McConnell, explaining that originally he wanted to have it downstairs for residents, as the gingerbread village is upstairs, but that due to curious residents it had to be moved upstairs to the dining room to avoid accidental damage.

“My son Barry did most of the work,” said Mr. McConnell modestly. “It was the first one we have worked on together. We put an ad in The Expositor looking for houses and the community was really supportive and brought lots of things in to help. It was so good of them.”

During the assembly process, the father son duo figured out the village layout, drawing the lines for the roadways and houses first, mapping out the community, followed by wiring the three types of lights (coloured house lights, white street lights and other village lights) which run off batteries. The next step, Mr. McConnell said, was the gluing of the homes, trees and figurines to the large wooden base. The final look of the Christmas village was finished off with spray snow.

“People have really liked it,” said a proud Mr. McConnell. “I don’t have a favourite building, but I really like the church—it really completed the one area.”

Mr. McConnell’s miniature Christmas village is on display now at the Manor in Little Current.