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Taking aim

At 83 years old Derm Molloy has been active with the Gander Rod and Gun Club for more than 50 years.
At 83 years old Derm Molloy has been active with the Gander Rod and Gun Club for more than 50 years.

GANDER, NL — With the butt of a 12-gauge shotgun held firmly against his shoulder, Derm Molloy stares down the barrel of the firearm.

His focus is on the tiny bead sight at the end.

While some people shoot with one eye closed, the Gander resident prefers to keep both open.

The 83-year-old breaks his focus to say, “I find it’s better for depth perception." He reassumes his stance, yells “Aim!” and a tiny disk goes flying into air.

Molloy follows the trajectory of the clay pigeon for just a second before pulling the trigger, immediately shattering it into hundreds of tiny pieces.

It’s the same process for four out of the five shots he took.

“Not bad for someone whose eyes aren’t what they used to be,” he says.

It’s a scene that has played out at least once a week, until the “snow flies”, at the Rod and Gun Club in Gander, where the trap shooter has been a member for more than 50 years.

“I first got into it when I was a young feller, only 16-years-old, going off partridge hunting with my older brother,” he said. “What I used to do at the end of the day, I used to pic up a can, throw it into the air with my left hand then get the gun and shoot it.”

After moving to Gander he got into trap shooting, and became involved with the club in the mid-60s. It has paid off in big ways, as his precision has won him numerous provincial and Atlantic competitions.

“My main reason for trap shooting is it’s a very interesting sport and it’s a challenge,” he said. “But what I love about it is that no matter the age, you can still be active in it.”

And because of his dedication to the Club, he was presented with a honourary membership on Sept. 17.

“It was a big surprise to me,” he said. “I was absolutely thrilled.”

President Stephen Oldford said Molloy is the longest serving member at the club, and the organization wanted to do something to show its appreciation.

“Anybody who’s involved with the club knows Derm,” said Oldford. “Fifty plus years involved with the same organization and still supporting and contributing to it is a long haul, so we figured it was the least we could do.”

The Gander resident was recently presented with a honourary membership at the Rod and Gun Club

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