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Drinkwater’s Don Lammle talks about his SCRAPS birdhouse village

Lammle donated the seven-set village to support the organization’s upcoming Sept. 9 raffle

Drinkwater’s Don Lammle is the man behind the seven-piece birdhouse set donated to the SCRAPS raffle fundraiser that’s currently underway. 

Lammle said he was looking for something to do after completing the renovations on his heritage property in Drinkwater, the Willett on Wenzel property. “I had time in the winter after doing the house and I always wanted to build some (birdhouses) so I started making them,” he said. “That was sometime after starting the first one for SCRAPS.”

Lammle now builds birdhouses through his hobby business, Cat’s Ass Birdhouses.

He said the name was chosen because of his “twisted sense of humour,” and he wanted to play on both his intricate sense of detail and something light and fun. “Yeah, the cat’s ass. That’s what I chose, because I like doing a good job with them and that’s an old saying, that the cat’s ass is the best,” he said. “I like playing with puns and this kind of stuff.”

When Lammle was first making a sign for his business, he boiled it down to three runner-up ideas. One was in the shape of a cat, so after some thought he figured it would make a great doorbell, complete with a hole drilled to accommodate the doorbell button. “Some people just don’t want to push the button!” he said with a laugh. “I said, that’s the place where that one’s going!”

Lammle has been donating to SCRAPS for around five years now, and this started back when he and his wife were shopping at the Town ‘N’ Country Mall. His wife, Dianne, noticed a small boutique in the mall that neither of them had visited before. “I walked down, had a look at it… and I liked what they were doing,” he recalled. “I said to them, ‘would you like to have a nice Purple Martin birdhouse to raffle? I’ll make you one.’” His first donation was a large barn with around 14 compartments for the birds.

“They have to be ventilated to keep cool in the summer,” Lammle explained. The birdhouses sit in the sun, so without proper ventilation the birds won’t survive. He also ensures his birdhouses have a little promenade with a fence, so the babies don’t plop over the side. Purple Martins won’t care for any young who fall out of the nest.

Last year, Lammle made a model of the grain elevator in Rouleau, Sask. (of ‘Dog River’ fame) that burned down and donated it to the SCRAPS organization.

“This is the first year I’ve done a collection of (birdhouses),” he said, noting that he usually builds and donates single Model-T cars and other classic vehicles. The donated village houses are novel creations Lammle said he made up to be functional for their intended residents.

“My reason for doing a collection this year is because there’s a lot of retired people in Moose Jaw,” Lammle explained. He noted that a lot of his older clients don’t want large birdhouses but appreciate something a lot smaller. “They would make really good gifts to give away to somebody,” he said with a mind toward charity.

Charitable outreach is no unknown concept to Lammle, who has been involved in some way or another for as long as he can remember. Before he moved to the province in 2008, he helped renovate a museum in the town of Bowden, Alta. “It’s nothing new to me to do this sort of thing,” he said about giving back to the community.

Back on Aug. 6, Lammle presented a scale model building he constructed of the old historic church that had burned down in Drinkwater to the village. The model contained stained glass and other original materials from the church, and he said it helps to preserve some of the history there.  

Lammle said he hasn’t been pushing to sell his birdhouses yet, but he’s thinking about expanding operations to make it an official business enterprise. “I’ve got about 150 here that I’ve made, and one day I’m going to get busy with selling them. I’m not really too concerned right now yet.”

He said he gets a lot of requests to build Purple Martin birdhouses in particular. “I’ve got one fault,” he said. “When I build one, I like doing an extremely good job on it, I take way too much time making it, and then they can’t afford to buy it!” He confirmed that he’d still entertain any requests, especially when it comes to something for charity.

To purchase your raffle tickets in support of the SCRAPS ‘It Takes a Village’ fundraiser, you can contact SCRAPS at 306-684-9048 or visit their Town ‘N’ Country Mall storefront at the 9 Lives Boutique. The draw date is scheduled for Sept. 9.

Don Lammle can be reached by phone at 306-690-1047 or by email at

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