Paul Micallef

Royal Ontario Museum was captivated by archery at about eight years of age. Watching the Westerns that were then popular, he was fascinated by how the Indians could make their hunting tools and weapons from whatever nature provided. An older friend showed how he made bows and arrows from what was in his environment: sticks, string, nails for arrowheads, and cardboard for fletchings. Paul was impressed and was soon improvising his own archery equipment. Though crude and simple, those early efforts were rewarding enough to start Paul on a lifelong interest in archery.

Later in his teens, Paul avidly read ancient and medieval history, especially accounts of archery in various cultures. He also read books written by great modern archers like the late Howard Hill. At home, Paul set up an archery range in the backyard, and made equipment on a workbench in the basement. Later, Paul joined an archery club and acquired professionally-made equipment for competition shooting. Yet, the memory of his friend with his sticks and string always drew him back to archery's simple roots.

Moving to Brititish Columbia, Paul helped start two archery clubs and also gave seminars showing camp instructors how to teach archery. By then, Paul was an experienced woodworker, yet he found making archery tackle still pleasantly challenging.

Later, Paul studied medieval and renaissance history at University of Toronto and joined the archery club at Hart House. Joining AEMMA, he found a group of like-minded people who also were interested in the longbow's simplicity and challenge. Currently, Paul organizes and instructs the AEMMA archery group and the Royal Ontario Museum Medieval Longbow course. He still takes great pleasure in experimenting with and building primitive and medieval archery tackle.

Updated: October 15, 2009