My name is Pashee Khurshid, and it brings me much pleasure to be a part this tribute to Hobby Lobby, an institution that played a key role over many decades in changing the lives of many hobby enthusiasts just like me. The man behind this is one fine human being, a visionary, a teacher, a mentor and above all a very dear friend Muhammed Adeem.
Growing up in Lahore back in the mid-seventies, my first encounter with aeromodelling as a hobby was through a person named Abbas Mirza, since passed away very young RIP, and very fine talented man. He’d build planes out of wood over large rolled sheets of paper that showed a blueprint of the airplane. With no clue what he was doing, the smell of balsa wood and strong pungent fumes of cement was the beginning of a never ending romance. Through him I discovered Hobby Lobby located in Fortress Stadium Lahore Cantt. If I remember correctly, Carl Goldberg’s Cessna 180 rubber powered was my first purchase from Hobby Lobby! Living in Model Town, Lahore means you cant miss Walton Aerodrome if you are a fanatical plane spotter like I was, riding my bike with one hand and carrying my rubber powered plane in another on my way to Walton became a standard ritual in the scorching hot summer afternoons in Lahore. Progressing more into the hobby, I started building more control lines and rubber-powered planes for a few more years, and by this time I believe Hobby Lobby had wrapped up its operations in Lahore and now was based in Karachi.
By 1989 if memory serves me well, Hobby Lobby made its welcome re-appearance back in Lahore around Liberty Market. This was a beginning of a new era of my hobby career. Having grown out of free flight, I resumed my passion of aeromodelling with RC Flying, of course with the devoted help of Adeem Bhai.
The next chapter of my hobby story started when Adeem Bhai began to diversify his business and Hobby Lobby began importing plastic scale model Kits. I was never aware of such an inborn thirst in me for plastic scale models until I built my first Airfix Cessna Bird Dog 1/72 scale. Since this, Adeem Bhai’s encouragment led me to take scale modeling more seriously, I personally think his passion for scale modelling was much stronger as compared to RC. His constant admiration and encouragement led me into serious model building. Scale Display Modellers Association was the first platform that resulted due to this intense scale modelling culture which began to flourish at Hobby Lobby, resulting in three successful competitions, sponsored generously by Hobby Lobby.
I left Pakistan in 1999 and came to Canada. After few years of settling in I resumed dedicating time to my scale modelling again and continue to enjoy spending many hours on it to this day today. Joining my local IPMS chapter was another turning point in my hobby career leading me into building more automobiles. After many years of steadily learning and improving my skills, in 2015 my Tamiya Mini Cooper 1/24 won the first prize in masters category under IPMS Toronto Ajax chapter. An acheivemnt which I always credit and dedicate to Hobby Lobby and to my dear friend Adeem Bhai.
Presently, I’m more invloved in building cars, plastic and resin medias, focusing more on rare Italian coach building subjects of the 1950-1970 period from the works of Pinninfarina, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, Zagato and so on. My love for blasa wood contruction is still intact and kicking around, and I just started a Guillows DHC Beaver RC convertion project lately, which is admittedly coming along at a very slow place though.
All in all, the moral of the story is that Hobby Lobby will never be recognised as just a hobby shop, it will always stand as a foundation of learning and principles shaping curious individuals like me who try to build a truly divine connection to themselves. It’s almost a practice of meditation!
Thanks so much Adeem Bhai and I wish you and Hobby Lobby much continued success in the future!