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Clifford Carry On Club calls it quits

Carry On Club - Members of the Carry on Club met on Oct. 18 for a farewell luncheon at Gramma Jo’s restaurant in Clifford. Front: From left, Esther Hallman and Jean Field. Back: Marion Derbecker, Ruth Anne Cummings, Lynne Nancekivell and Phyllis Kaufman.    Photo by Bonnie Whitehead

Clifford Carry On Club calls it quits

by Bonnie Whitehead

CLIFFORD - The Carry on Club in Clifford has engaged over 50 women over 60 years in humanitarian work for home and country. With dwindling membership numbers this team of skilled quilters and conversationalists decided it was time to fold.

The remaining six ladies including Jean Field, Esther Hallman, Ruth Anne Cummings, Lynne Nancekivell, Marion Derbecker and newest member Phyllis Kaufman have been working in pairs hosting the quilting sessions in their homes. Each quilt holds a promise of hope that someone in need will benefit from its warmth and charm.

The ladies met at Gramma Jo’s Restaurant on Oct. 18 for a farewell luncheon.

Esther Hallman revealed a few quilt tops and liners, so it looks like they are not quite finished tying quilts yet. And that’s a good thing, because the ladies at the crisis centre who look forward to Field’s visits are probably not ready to say goodbye.

Field submitted a historical view of the club for Historical Walks Through Carrick and Mildmay printed in 1989. She pointed out the club originated through the efforts of Isabel Cassidy in 1957.

Ladies met to sew pyjamas and nightgowns to send to the Unitarian Service Committee founded by Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova to help victims during the Second World War.

Originally they met at S.S. No. 11, Lint’s School in Carrick. After class ended for the day, they would sew pyjamas, make cancer dressings, knit sweaters and socks, and tie quilts until about 10pm. Donations of fabric and sewing notions were collected and turned into beautiful and comforting quilts.

Gently used clothing was packed and shipped. One day a lady discovered she inadvertently had packed and shipped the very sweater she was wearing during one of those packing sessions. For years, these ladies freely shared their gifts of their talent and time. At the end of the day, these ladies are energized by their good works not exhausted, although their fingers could use the rest.

The quilters chose not to meet during July, August, and December.

At two quilts a month for nine months, for 60 years, the number of quilts tied and donated would amount to 1,080. Attached to each quilt was a label that read, “Made especially for you by the Carry On Club, Clifford, Ontario.”  

These ladies shared a sense of purpose and a sense of accomplishment and will now devote more energy to other volunteer projects.


November 3, 2017


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