ALMONTE – When Peter Baran and his wife partner, Heather Phaneuf, moved to Almonte, their neighbour Graham Burgess helped welcome them to the street and the community.

Fairview Manor resident Graham Burgess checks out the Battleship game, handmade by former neighbour Peter Baran. Courtesy Fairview Manor
Fairview Manor resident Graham Burgess checks out the Battleship game, handmade by former neighbour Peter Baran. Courtesy Fairview Manor

Now, Baran is giving back – providing Burgess and his new neighbours at Fairview Manor with a hand-made Battleship game.

“Graham called and asked if I could help out and I immediately said yes,” Baran aid. “I used to play Battleship as a kid and remembered the basic rules. It was a fun COVID-19 project.”

Baran took woodworking in high school, has a workshop at his home, and wanted to do more projects as part of his retirement plan. He went online for inspiration and then got to work, creating his own unique design.

“I made a larger version of the game to make it more accessible and to make the pegs easier to hold,” Baran said.

All the pieces are wipeable, making them easily cleanable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burgess and other residents say they are really enjoying the new game. In a thank you note, Burgess wrote, “thank you for your efforts to create and assemble this Battleship game for us to enjoy for years to come.”

“This story is another example of the great connections between Fairview Manor and our community,” assistant director of care Amanda Becking said. “We are so grateful for their continued support, particularly through this very challenging time.”

Baran says he’s glad the game was well received.

“It was a simple request from a neighbour, and it was an opportunity to do something positive for others,” he said. “I was happy to help.”