Hobbies and Interests
Music has always been a large part of my life. For fifteen years (1980-1995) I was a member of the Bach Elgar Choral Society of Hamilton, Canada's second oldest choral society . For eleven of those years (1984-1995) I was a member of the Board of Directors, and Chair of the programming Committee.
For over twenty years I have sung with the MacNeill Baptist Church Choir, now the MacNeill Ensemble. During my time in Prague I sang with the eight-voice chamber choir, Kralovske Obora (Royal Estates), and conducted the occasional choir of the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague.
I have been interested in sailing since youth, and while living in South Devon crewed regularly aboard sailing dinghies and yachts of the Torbay Sailing Club. In 1994 I purchased plans for a boat of my own and began construction of Rusalka in the winter of 1994-1995. In the summer of 1997 Rusalka was launched in Hamilton, and was well used in the remaining weeks of that season, and during the good weather of 1998.
Rusalka is a Czech word, meaning 'Water Nymph', an appropriate name for the boat. It is also the title of an opera by Dvorak. The boat was designed by Ken Swann of Portland, Oregon, and captures the simplicity and reliability of the dory and the catboat. Rusalka sails extremely well in a stiff wind, and also light breezes. The boat has been used much in Hamilton Harbour, and also on Skeleton Lake, Muskoka.
For one who is the only male of the Hobbses for three generations not to enter the military in some form or other, I show a remarkable interest in military history. I have published in the area of ancient warfare, especially as it relates to the Old Testament.
I am also interested in the conflict which raged in this part of Canada in the early nineteenth century, the so-called 'War of 1812' - which lasted, in fact, from 1812 to 1815. The area around Hamilton is littered with battlefields related to this war. My interest in this war is inspired, not least, by the participation in it of the Forty First Reguiment of Foot, later to become the Welch Regiment, now the Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st). I have collected literature and notes of this and other Welsh regiments (the 23rd [The Royal Welsh Fusiliers], 24th [The South Wales Borderers], the Welsh Guards), and have a sizeable collection of regimental and militia badges and insignia from these units.
The Second World War (1939-1945), in which my father and uncles fought, is also an interest of mine. I am a member of the Military Collectors Club of Canada, the Canadian Society of Military Medals and Insignia, the Society of Ancients, and the Society of Ancient Military Historians, and of the 41st Regiment of Foot Living History Association.