My Office Crush

UVic is full of interesting people and places. Whether it is your professor or the person studying next to you, there is always something new to learn and understand. Therefore, I always try to connect with as many people as I can at UVic. This time though I found something different. Hiding in the Fine Arts building on campus, I discovered my office crush. I present you with John Threlfall‘s office.

John Threlfall is a sessional instructor at UVic and is a specialist in media and popular culture. He is also an in-house journalist for the Faculty of Fine Arts.

I was intrigued and wanted to know more about his life. I wondered, how did someone collect all of these amazing items? Why does he keep all of these items in his office?

My first question was “What is the story behind your Crush collection? 

When Threlfall was a kid in Vancouver in the mid-‘70s, his parents took him to an antique show and said to find something that interested him. He found an old Orange Crush bottle and thought it was pretty neat. He continued collecting bottles and now owns things that date back to the 1890s.

His office was previously a kitchen, so the idea of having his Orange Crush collection in the office would match the kitchen as well.

“What is your favorite object in your office?” 

His favorite object is a tiny garbage gobbler

Garbage gobblers were out in the 50s and early 70s in B.C. and were trashcans on the side of the road. When the new highway system in B.C. was established and travelling and tourism kicked off in B.C. you could stop on the side of the road and throw out your trash.

As a kid Threlfall remembers seeing them in the highway and as an adult he was interested in them. Right now they are rare. This small “gobbler bank” represent how things that interest you can become part of your profession. At UVic Threlfall did a History major and ended up working as a writer. Eventually one of his articles was about garbage gobblers! What is most interesting is that Threlfall can look at an object, find the story behind it and write about it.

Garbage gobblers don’t exist anymore, with less than a dozen left. Some have been reconditioned or repainted but if you want to find one go to the nature centre in Goldstream park. They have kept one on display.

Threlfall’s collection is composed of items that hold a special meaning in his career and personal life.

What is the concept behind your office?

As a journalist my job is to make people comfortable and make them want to talk, I don’t even have to try to make them talk because they walk into my office… it intrigues people and it engages them right away so half of my job is accomplished without me even saying a word. This was a technique I learned working when I worked for the newspaper…”

Threlfall’s office is a reflection of his personal interests and different stages of his life, like the Orange Crush collection which he became interested in when he was younger. He also owns posters about courses he has taught, awards and magazine covers from his time as a journalist.

Any other interesting object or fact about your office?

Threlfall’s was a popular beer in Northern England for about a century from the 1860s-1960s (like Phillips, or Molson’s). Given my unusual last name, it’s always fun to pick up pieces of it whenever I find them: coasters, signs, toys, photos of old pubs. My dad even has a big 4×8 foot “Threlfall’s” glass sign that hung over the front door of one of the breweries. Ironically, I don’t even drink beer!

Other interesting facts:

Threlfall worked backstage in theatre for 10 years. Some of the items in his office represent this period of his life, like the chair he is sitting on which used to be in an old theatre.


These are all actual, legitimate misspellings of his name being showcased on his office door

Next time you consider whether you should go talk to your professors or not remember… their office might be worth it 🙂

Good luck with your studies and thanks for reading!

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2 Responses

  1. Russ Fong says:

    good story, great pics!