Tiny town builder passes away
Tiny Town located right beside the George Little House is now not just a tribute to Youghal, Ireland but to its creator Jim Allen, who passed away July 10.
Granddaughter Sarah Allen said her grandfather, who was 80, had been ill for about two months.
Tiny Town, a miniature version of the buildings in Allen’s hometown of Youghal, began life in the front yard of his Agar Ave. home, becoming a bit of a tourist attraction year-round and a lighted winter village during the Christmas season.
When circumstances dictated the buildings be moved from Allen’s yard and with the real possibility they might be taken to the landfill, a volunteer group quickly formed to take them instead to an empty storefront in the Skeena Mall.
And when the mall was bought and extensive renovations began several years ago, the same group arranged for the move to city property next to the George Little House.
A work skills crew from the Terrace and District Community Services Society and the group then restored the miniatures.
The buildings are replicas of a post office, a butcher shop, a shoemaker, a barbershop, an info centre and two pub buildings, one of which also contains an undertaker’s business.
One structure was designed by a person from Holland and built with brick from that country, said Allen during a tour when Tiny Town was moved to its current location.
“The brick is red and that’s why it’s called the Red House,” he said.
Allen moved here from Ireland to help build Sacred Heart Parish in 1956 and stayed afterward.
He worked for the government and then opened Jim’s Painting Service, painting people’s houses and putting in some gyproc, for several years and then retired.
Then he ran a bed and breakfast on Braun St.
Jim was married to his wife for 55 years until her death five years ago. They raised four sons and two daughters.
He was a longtime member of the Legion, was with the Knights of Columbus for 50 years and played the bagpipes with the Terrace Pipes and Drums.
Sarah said he came to visit her when she was nine and she taped him playing the bagpipes.
Allen was a self-taught bagpipe player and accordion player.
For his 50th wedding anniversary, he serenaded his wife with the bagpipes, said Sarah.