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James Gooding – Ave atque vale

By Alan R. Capon
Jim Gooding, the proprietor of Museum Restoration Service, died suddenly at his home in Kingston on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. Until he and his wife, Joyce, moved to Kingston a few weeks ago they lived and ran their arms and armour publishing business from Bloomfield.

Between 1964 and 2002, Jim was also the editor and publisher of Arms Collecting, an international publication rating in importance with others in the field including the Journal of the Arms and Armour Society of England, Gladius in Spain and Armi Antiche in Italy.

I first became acquainted with Jim in the 1960s when one of his authors, Professor Frank Dupuis, Emeritus Professor of Engineering at the University of Alabama visited me in Lindsay, Ontario, where I was the editor of The Lindsay Daily Post, seeking photographs from my collection for use in his definitive book on the Canadian Ross Rifle.

By 1970, I had moved to The Peterborough Examiner newspaper and then to the Kingston Whig-Standard. I was living in Picton when Jim Gooding arrived in the County as the new Curator of Prince Edward County Museum.

We remained close friends over the years and he visited me at my Scoharie Road house on Thursday morning, two days before his sudden and unexpected passing. I was shocked and saddened when Joyce phoned me with the news.

For over 30 years I edited and proofread his magazine and many of the books that his company published.

Jim Gooding was well known in his field. He received the medal of the Arms and Armour Society of Great Britain in 1992 and was also awarded the Man at Arms Cup by Mowbray Publishing Co., for his contribution to the study of arms and armour.

For a number of years he organized overseas Arms and Armour tours and on one occasion I went to an English arms tour with him. We visited many historic sites from The Tower of London to the Royal Ordnance Pattern Room at Enfield Lock, Middlesex. At the Tower Howard L. Blackmore, Deputy Master of the Royal Armouries, the leading authority on the history of British firearms met us and escorted us on our visit taking us into areas closed to the public where restoration work was being undertaken.

Jim had begun his museum career at the Royal Ontario Museum and had a long association with various provincial and federal museums. He was also Professor of Artefacts Conservation at Algonquin College in Ottawa for many years.
Jim’s wife, Joyce, was also actively involved in the arms collecting publishing business. Joyce, who was born in Pennsylvania, was a former director of library services for the U.S. Military Society Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The funeral service is to be held Thursday, Jan. 12th at 2 p.m., officiated by Reverend Audrey Whitney. Friends may call at the Whattam Funeral Home from 1 p.m. until the time of service.

S. James Gooding – Ave atque vale (hail and farewell)

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  1. Un grand Monsieur, d’une grande dignité, qui laisser derrière lui une oeuvre unique. Je l’ai connu en 1975, quand j’ai commencé mes propres recherches sur l’histoire des armes à feu en Nouvelle-France. Il a été, pour moi, un modèle de ténacité, d’intelligence et d’excellence.

    Son départ laisse un vide qui va être difficile à combler.

    Russel Bouchard

  2. Allan Samuels says:

    I first became acquainted with Jim when he attended the Pennsylvania Antique Arms show, in Pottstown, PA, during the mid-1970’s. A affable man, who was always willing to share his knowledge with his fellow collector. He shall be missed by all who knew him but, his spirit lives on in all his good and scholarly works, and wonderful memories of a good man.

  3. dustin aulthouse says:

    Jim was an extraordinary man. I worked for him for a few summers and it was impossible not to fall in love with him and Joyce as well. He taught me so much and his humor made him easy to work with. He will be greatly missed but i believe he fulfilled his goals and led a happy life with Joyce and that helps a lot knowing he had such a great life. Sorry for the loss Joyce wish you well in this time of mourning.
    Dustin Aulthouse.

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