Paul Mockler, One of the Great Guys

Paul Mockler, One of the Great Guys

One of the things that makes life on the edge (that may be an exaggeration) interesting is that you get to meet some people who have made truly remarkable choices in their lives – who have escaped the ordinary and found a different path.

Consider Paul Mockler. First of all let’s look at the humble side. The guy lives in a little “cabin” (as he calls it) in Smith’s Point, our little town in Grand Bahama. Check it out. Here’s a pic.

Now … it looks humble but please imagine — directly across from it is the most gorgeous seafront you will ever see, anywhere. So he didn’t just stumble into this house..he had his eye on something. That door, by the way — he found it on the beach.. It’s about half as wide as a normal door.

But there’s more about Paul.

First of all, take another look at the guy. The thumbnail is Paul at work as the world’s number one IMAX underwater cinematographer.

Now… how does a guy who lives in this little “cabin” in Smith’s Point end up being IMAX’s number one cinematographer?

Let’s look at it.

First of all — one more time, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is picture of Paul hanging out at Smith’s Point during the fish fry.

So — and I realize I’m kind of backing into this, but bear with me — here is Paul’s story.

He’s Canadian. Grew up in Ontario, around Hamlton but in a small town. He saw photos of scuba diving…..decided hewanted to dive at the age of 14…saved enough money to buy SCUBA gear. There was no certification possible (didn’t exist where he lived), but he figured it out on his own and, started diving in Canadian lakes and quarries. To make a wetsuit he ordered rubber and cut/constructed his own wetsuits. That first year he and a friend went diving in the lakes until the freeze was too severe. Then they waited until spring and continued. Again – no certification, they just did it.

Paul eventually went to work for CBC…then later broadened to work for international companies. He filmed — and continues to film — all over the world. At one point he figured out that he didn’t have to live in Canada, and it was at this point that he thought about Smith’s Point, Grand Bahama — an idyllic little town he’d shot in, but one with good air access in and out. That was 30 years ago … he talked to Mama Flo Edden about renting him “the cabin” — her beachfront cabin which at that point was rundown and unoccupied. Mama Flo said okay — he moved in…has never left..yet continues to travel the world for IMAX, BBC, and others.

15 Comments

  • Gail Woon

    September 19, 2020 at 7:52 pm Reply

    I am devastated to hear that we lost our Paul Mockler. He will be sorely missed. I remember having dinner at his house in Smith’s Point so many times and the conversations were to die for! We laughed and laughed. I will never forget him getting me a job on the IMAX film, Flight of the Aquanaut. I got to do Pre-Production and Production on the film. I learned so much about life from Paul Mockler. He will forever be in my heart and forever loved by me. ‍♂️☮️☯️‍☠️

  • Paula Boyd Farrington

    September 19, 2020 at 11:34 am Reply

    Will miss you, Paul, my longtime dear friend …. incredibly talented in so many ways & when you weren’t busy making movies and filming IMAX documentaries or writing screenplays you were generous to help with photography in the early days of developing Port Lucaya, and with so many creative contributions to the Grand Bahama Island Magazine guidebook my husband and I published for ten years (‘til those terrible double-whammy hurricanes in 2005 came along—which arrived on Paul’s 60th birthday as I recall—all his friends extended the celebration until later that year, and the gift of knowing Paul will be an ongoing one for everyone fortunate enough to have known him for any length of time at all). I was lucky to enjoy his company and many laughter-filled lunches catching up on art-politics-news-writing-island life and his ongoing adventures and projects. An amazing guy. Inspiring, funny, brave and such a thoughtful & wry wit. Cherished friend. So happy and grateful to see this wonderful original blog post and to read all the comments here from everyone graced to know Paul. The party upstairs just welcomed a great guy indeed!! Cheers to you, dear Paul … ever in our hearts. ❤️

  • Harold Reid ( Joe )

    September 19, 2020 at 11:29 am Reply

    Grew up with Moxie ( Waterdown District H.S ) I would like to pass on an incident which took place in the fall, during the mid sixties. A gang of us were invited to the Thornborrow cottage near Sundridge, ON for a weekend outing and as is fairly common in Ontario, there is always road-kill, the further north one travels. As luck would have it we encountered a porcupine, that had been in a earlier battle with a vehicle and suddenly we hear in a ‘Moxonian Verbiage’, ” STOP THE CAR! ” and we pull to the shoulder and back-up.
    As passengers we thought in unison, OMG what now? Out jumps the Mox, removes his wide brimmed boy scout hat and beats this deceased animal until his chapeau is filled with quills. Places it back on his head and re-enters the car. Not word, only smiles and the wheels are turning , that is until the restaurant in Huntsville. I still to this day, see the look on the waitresses face as we enter the restaurant and her enquiring, “what happened?” “Attacked while walking in the bush, just north of here”, the Mox replies with a wink.
    The reason I’m relaying this incident, in tribute to my friend, is that it has just donned to me, Mox you usually had an answer for everything. Now you and the porcupine are in the world …
    What in blazes are you going to say to that porky when he asks, “why the beating on the side of Hwy # 11 Mr. Mox?” I know it will be entertaining – love you brother. Joe Reid Sr

  • Dougie Thomson

    September 18, 2020 at 5:35 pm Reply

    My best friend and dive buddy for 40 years passed today after a long fight with cancer and was definitely one of the best I will miss him dearly

    • Sandra Gutierrez

      September 18, 2020 at 6:07 pm Reply

      Hi Dougie. I do remember you.
      I am completely heart broken!
      May he rest in peace. I will miss him dearly.

      Sandra

    • Patti Oosterveld

      September 19, 2020 at 1:28 pm Reply

      Thank you, everyone, for sharing your stories and connections with my amazing brother, Paul Mockler. Although Paul was so very ill, his sense of humor remained to the end. He leaves us with a hole in our hearts, but with wondeful memories. RIP my dear brother.

      • Sandra Gutierrez

        September 19, 2020 at 6:18 pm Reply

        Dear Patti,

        My sincerest condolences to you and all of Paul´s family. I know you loved him dearly and he was very lucky to have you by his side, not just in his last days, but always. I am happy to hear this sense of humor lasted as long as he did. I do not imagine him without his sense of humor. I tried to reach out to him through emails and I hope he knew I was thinking of him daily. I will miss him terribly. It is hard to believe the world no longer has Paul, but it certainly has the most wonderful memories of one of the most wonderful persons I have ever met.
        Love to you,

      • Jana Walker

        September 20, 2020 at 11:16 am Reply

        Dear Patti , Reaching our to hug you at this very sad time and commend you for the loving care you and your family gave Paul .
        It was such a special time we spent with you and Paul and Rick last Spring after losing our
        Bill Shaw .
        Brandon ( our son) has said what an honour and a privilege to spend time with Moxie! He grew up with the ‘stories’ ! Paul was surrounded by love and devotion .. .. not the least of which from his oldest best buddy Rick ! Paul leaves this world better for having been in it and all who knew him blessed for having spent ‘any time ‘ with him !’ Many of us have such fond memories ! Truly ‘one of the great guys’!

  • Jan Walker

    September 18, 2020 at 5:07 pm Reply

    A few hours ago we said goodbye to this one of kind guy . Safe journeys Moxie !!
    You put up a valiant fight .
    I knew you over 40 years … and you knew my late husband Bill Shaw for most of your life .
    You hung out from ages 13/14 inventing things /working on cars / motorcycles and on and on .
    They broke the molds with you two and your buddy Rick Warrender . The 3 Amigos !
    Such Great memories out at your ‘little gem ‘ in Smith Point ,Bahamas … Momma Flo cooking up a storm of that day’s catch .
    You were in a class by yourself … so very very talented … so very very solitary . ( just like Bill and Rick)
    When you won the ‘Gemini’ award we were all so proud of you and it became an inside wink !
    ( Bill’s catamaran was called The Gemini)
    I an so Very happy that our son Brandon got to spend time with you last spring … when we were there to scatter some of Bill’s ashes . He had grown up with Moxie stories his whole life . It was an honor for him to be with you . I shall miss you dear heart and I thank you for being in all our lives ! We are all richer for having known you . The pain is over . God speed

  • Terry Mockler

    September 18, 2020 at 3:56 am Reply

    Paul is my dad’s first cousin and my second cousin. So his dad is my great uncle. One of my uncles and two first cousins grew up next door to him in Hamilton.Both their father’s worked at DOFASCO Steel. I tried to track him down after Hurricane Dorian and then talked on the phone as I have never met him first hand.My cousins always told me to meet him that he was cool. At least I made some effort. He told me his treatments weren’t going well.

  • Karl and. Eva Dehmel

    August 30, 2020 at 7:30 am Reply

    We met Paul here in the Bahamas,sat together around bonfires on the beach,had dinner in his little house and admired how every centimeter had a purpose,like in a small ship and enjoyed once to watch his film about school and children in Abaco.A wonderful sensitive loving little movie which I always hoped to be able to see again—especially now after Dorian changed the islands and Abaco especially.
    Dear Paul,we had good times together,it was always a special treat to spend some time with you and the thaught that you suffer alone in the hospitz is heartbreaking.Our love and a bahamian cloud full of best wishes for you are sailing your way.

  • Sandra Gutierrez

    August 29, 2020 at 5:54 am Reply

    Paul Mockler is one of the most wonderful friends I have ever had and truly a remarkable human being. I will need an encyclopedia to talk about how wonderful he is!

  • John Bertrand

    August 18, 2020 at 7:32 pm Reply

    Paul Mockler is my cousin. He’s not doing well right now. We’ve lost rouch over the years. I’ve stayed in touch with his sister though. I’ve watched his career from afar. My mother was very close to his dad, Pat, her brother, and his mom Mary. We used to see them a couple of times a year, we lived in Quebec and they in Ontario. I remember when I was 15 or 16, Paul is 10 years older than me, he always had gorgeous girlfriends, he rode a BSA 650 motorcycle and he was an Art teacher at the Ontario College of Art (OCA). To me he was, hands down, the coolest guy in the universe. He was my hero. I’ve always loved Rock & Roll, one summer while we were at their home I obsessively played 3 LP’s of Paul’s, the Wild Angels soundtrack, Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland and Johnny Winter’s The Progressive Blues Experiment. When we left to go home Paul gave me his copy of Electric Ladyland. I still listen to those 3 records and I can’t help but think of Paul every time.
    I’ll be in Toronto in a few days and I truly hope I get to see him if only for a few minutes. One of the great guys? Absolutely!

  • John Bertrand

    August 18, 2020 at 7:24 pm Reply

    Paul Mockler is my cousin. He’s not doing well right now. We’ve lost Touch over the years. I’ve stayed in touch with his sister though. I’ve watched his career from afar. Paul is 10 years older than me. My mother was very close to his dad, Pat, her brother, and his mom Mary. We used to see them a couple of times a year, wlived in Quebec and they in Ontario? I remember when I was 15 or 16, Paul always had gorgeous girlfriends, he rode a BSA 650 motorcycle and he was an Art teacher at the Ontario College of Art (OCA). To me he was, hands down, the coolest guy in the universe. He was my hero. I’ve always loved Rock & Roll, one summer while we were at their home I obsessively played 3 LP’s of Paul’s, the Wild Angels soundtrack, Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland and Johnny Winter’s The Progressive Blues Experiment. When we left to go home Paul gave me his copy of Electric Ladyland. I still listen to those 3 records and I can’t help but think of Paul every time.
    I’ll be in Toronto in a few days and I truly hope I get to see him if only for a few minutes. One of the great guys? Absolutely!

    • Sandra Gutierrez

      August 30, 2020 at 3:07 pm Reply

      Hi John, what you said about Paul at his younger age, sounds so much like Paul. I met him in The Bahamas later in his life and he became one of my most favorite peoples to be with. I really hope you get to see him while you are in Toronto!

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