I met Dave Myhill about 7 years ago when I was at the home of my best friend (Dave's daughter, L) having a bit of a catch up, and he dropped over for a visit.
At the time, Dave was a little apprehensive about the boys his daughter spent time with, and had the misconception that this young lad sipping tea with his only female heir must be her boyfriend, or at least a potential candidate - so he offered to take me hunting, and said he'd even give me a 3 day head start.
Dave also took the time to explain that he could lodge a knife, bullet, or arrow in me from 30 yards with very little difficulty on his part.
We had a few chance encounters shortly after that (helping L move house, the occasional shared meal, birthdays, etc.) and we gradually began to warm to each other. On several occasions I even made the trip to Dave's place on the Mornington Peninsula with L to help out with some yard work.
A few short years later Dave and I really started developing a friendship. He'd tell me at great length about knives and damascus steel and I was fortunate enough to spend some time with him in the shed getting a crash course in forge-welding.
Sadly, Dave passed away at the beginning of last year after a lengthy battle with cancer. This was pretty hard to take considering Dave had become very much like a second father to me.
I'm not sure if this is the right choice of words but maybe the one good thing to come from this was that it prompted me to start making knives on my own. At some point in the future I hope to start my first forged knife and give the finished product to L as a tribute to her father's dedication to the craft of knifemaking.
While recently attending the knife show I ran into a friend of a friend and she introduced me to her partner A, who happens to be a knife collector.
We got to talking and it turns out A rarely missed an opportunity to wander past Dave's stand at shows past and usually walked away with one of his knives.
He offered to let me come over and look at his collection, and was kind enough to donate some of Dave's unfinished blanks, agreeing that as payment I would put a handle on one of them for his partner.
I've decided that I'll finish the large trade blade and keep that for myself, but the large dagger will be redesigned into a tanto style blade for an old friend and the smaller utility knife will be finished and one day be given to my godson - who happens to be one of Dave's grandchildren.