With the lockdowns, shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, a lot of people have been working from home, including Peter Walmsley, professor of English literature at McMaster University, and nearby neighbour of St. Augustine’s. Many of us have become accustomed to ZOOM/Teams/Skype conferences and having to tolerate being interrupted by cats, dogs, children, spouses, wandering into view or causing unexpected noise and disruption — the high-pitched whine, and popping of our old gas-powered lawnmower, however, made it hard for students to hear what their professor was saying during his online lectures.
Prof. Walmsley took a constructive approach to the problem of reconciling his need to do remote teaching with the regular need of our lawns to be cut, and approached the parish with an offer of a brand new electric mower! Running on a 56V Lithium battery, the new mower can run for a little over an hour, and with a spare and charger (it takes about an hour to recharge a battery), will allow our volunteers to get the mowing done without interfering with McMaster students efforts to learn online. It isn’t silent, but it’s much quieter, sounding a little like a vacuum cleaner.
Many thanks to Prof. Walmsley for this kind gift.