May 23, 1929 – April 11, 2018
Orin was born in Melville, Saskatchewan on May 29, 1929, to Rosalie and John McIntosh where his Dad worked for the railroad. The McIntosh family later moved to Watrous where Orin graduated high school in 1948. Orin remembers working on the Hospital in Watrous. Isn’t it interesting that so much later in life Orin would reproduce so many fascinating scale models of building from the Watrous area. Following High School, Orin enrolled in the C.R.E.I. (Capital Radio Engineering Institute), a correspondence school in the U.S. He worked at CKCK radio in Regina as summer relief, then spent the next 5 years at CFQC Radio in Saskatoon. It was there that he met the love of his life, Arline Schmitt. They were married June 29th, 1953 and shortly after Orin started employment with the CBC at Carman, Manitoba for CBW as a Group 3 Transmitter technician. It was in Carman that Orin and Arline welcomed a daughter Dianne and a son Dan. In 1958 they returned to Watrous and Orin worked at CBK. In Watrous, their family grew with the additions of Brenda and Brian. Orin was self-taught in engineering. As a teen Orin built his own radios and while in Air Cadets constructed a home-built version of a “Link Trainer” which was a flight simulator that pilots could use to train before climbing into an actual aircraft. Orin also hand-crafted a beautiful mahogany boat that was the envy of all. As an enthusiastic hobbyist, Orin built several scale model replicas of steam locomotives, radio controlled planes, a paddle-wheel riverboat and a snow plane.
Taking an early retirement from the CBC, when the Watrous transmitter site became fully automated, Orin was then able to spend much more time at his life long hobby. Most recently it has been building scale model replicas of buildings in the Watrous area which hold historical significance. These include the CNR Station and Water Tower, Grain Elevator, CBK Transmitter building and Tuning House, All Saint’s Anglican Church with its historical stained glass window, and most recently Danceland and The Chalet Pool at Manitou Beach. He tried to use original blue prints for his models, but when this was not possible he made his own blue prints by taking digital photos and measurements of the buildings. Orin’s models were proudly featured in a 2017 episode of CBC televisions “Still Standing” filmed at Manitou Beach.
Orin was instrumental fostering the concept of the Watrous Manitou Beach Heritage Centre and his models will be a focal point for visitors to see and reflect on the history of this area.
Orin was predeceased by his parents and Son-in-law Don Wilson.
Orin is survived by his wife Arline, daughter Dianne (Wilson), Granddaughter Karen (Jeff) Siegfried and Great Grandson Jacob. Grandsons Dale and Brent Wilson, Son Dan (Carol) and Grandsons Brady and Reid. Daughter Brenda and Granddaughter Janelle (Andrew) Booth and Great-grandchildren Logan and Hayden. Son Brian (Cathy) and Grandsons Ryan and Josh and finally, at home, alone, Pete the cat.
"Well my friends and family
It’s all aboard for me.
For I’m the engineer this trip
on a journey just for me.
So gather on the platform
throw the switch and let me glide.
On the rails to God’s last station
For my last and final ride."