What started out as a casual hobby has slowly turned into something that many have come to enjoy and know Orland Thuroo for.
The 90-year-old resides in his home in Stanmore, Alta. with a passion for constructing objects or places like some of the seven man-made wonders of the world.
Most of his work is displayed in his home that was once the local grocery/convenience store.
Overall, he has made approximately 50 different pieces, with most requiring thousands of individual matchstick pieces to create the desired end product.
Of note, Thuroo has made the Eiffel Tower from Paris, the Big Ben Tower from London, the original London Bridge, the Tajmahal in India, the CN Tower in Toronto, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and more.
The Cathedral, for example, took “one big moon” according to Thuroo to make. He has also taken to the more human side of life by gifting a Chinese Junker ship with little people on board catching fish among his other creations.
“It’s a pretty darn good pastime,” said Thuroo. “I can do it when I want to.”
This hobby all came about when his wife, Catherine, gave him his first pattern and set for Christmas after finding it in a Sears Christmas catalog.
“I give her all the credit,” he said.
From there, he started getting them once or twice a year; one for his birthday and one for Christmas. After that, it became more and more prevalent that he wanted to create further so he bought extra sets to work on throughout the year.
Thuroo is continuing to plug away on company produced sets, hoping to complete them all after finishing the final eight he has left on his list.
He has already started making his own patterns to work with as well.
“When I go to sleep, I count matchsticks instead of counting sheep,” he joked.
In total, he has used 85,573 matchstick pieces and countless hours to make all of his structures.
Thuroo is a crafty person who can always seem to make something out of nothing including a replica grain elevator that once stood in Stanmore.
In classic burgundy red, he has made it as accurate as possible by having it one half-inch to foot scale.