“Be always sure you are right — then go ahead”
(Personal motto, autobiography, 1834 Davey Crockett)
This quote was that of a frontiersman and politician and that is what is sometimes required to blaze new trails.
Prior to 1990, Howard County had no woodworkers organization. John Maitland, a Columbia resident for several years, saw the need for such a group. Sure he was right about the need, he planned to go ahead. He discussed it with his friend and sometimes business partner Don Bard, also a lifelong woodworking enthusiast. Together they planned the founding of the Howard County Woodworkers Guild.
While volunteering at the Florence Bain Senior Center woodshop John began to spread the word about the first meeting. He and Don posted notices on village bulletin boards.
The first meeting was held in the Florence Bain Senior Center in Columbia, Maryland on May 12, 1990. Ten persons, In addition to John and Don, attended the first meeting. Two years later the guild boasted over 100 paid members. Members came from Howard County and beyond.
The basic purpose of the Guild was to bring together people with common woodworking interests to share experience and knowledge with others. The Guild, from the onset, welcomed members at all skill levels. The membership quickly covered a wide spectrum of woodworkers, from do-it- yourselfers and hobbyists who make furniture, musical instruments, toys and knickknacks, to carvers, fixer uppers and homebuilders.
Benefits of membership became clearer as the group worked together and that continues. Today there is organizing and participation for shows and sales, group buys of lumber, tools and supplies as well as demonstrations and hard to find items.
The community has also benefited from the Guild. In a spirit of cooperation, the Guild contributes proceeds from their Spring Craft Show to the Florence Bain Senior Center, in exchange for meeting space for the regular meetings held each first Saturday of the month. The Guild also supplies money and volunteers to operate the woodshop at Florence Bain Senior Center.
The Howard County Woodworkers Guild is firmly established. It exists because many individuals have contributed to its formation. It will continue to thrive with the continued contributions and participation of equally dedicated and committed crafters.