Magnificent Sea Creatures of the Pacific Northwest
Call Bilz: 250-285-3468

Tara Cullis

I never met anyone like Will Van Orden!

His and his wife’s Barb’s house has a car halfway through an upper wall, its front in the living room providing a fun place for kids to sit and steer. Outside, imaginative and ironic sculptures (and interesting old cars) are everywhere. In the shop, accurate models of exotic yet local fishes decorate the walls and, in different stages of completion, fill tray upon tray of scientific art. Well-thumbed century-old articles about electric cars, or books of rare fish, lie open.

My friend Will always had unexpected new interests. What a pleasure it was to see him ambling towards us over the beach past the tide pool to share his latest discovery, his latest questions, his latest concerns about disappearing sunstars, his latest discovery of rare musical pump organs.

He had perfected a way of making accurate models of sea creatures that made those in New York’s American Museum of Natural History look distinctly shabby. He even made models of fish dissections, every organ accurate, perfect for our daughter Sarika’s PhD in Marine Biology.

For 35 years our neighbour Will was glad to educate us, and to entertain us with his brilliant theories and questions. We weren’t one bit ready to let him go.

“You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”

Love you forever, Will.


Contact Bilz

Email: bilzrockfish[at]gicable[dot]com
Phone: (250) 285-3468
Box 245, Heriot Bay, BC , V0P 1H0