Speaker tells of wartime in Netherlands

The Merry Makers in Clifford were greeted with sad News at their meeting on April 2 at Jamesway Manor in Clifford. Ruth Anne Cummings announced the sudden passing of their president Irene Kaufman.

A moment of shock and disbelief were transformed into musings of remembrance for her leadership and stories, her joy of playing cards and bingo, and her love of family and friends.

Barbara Harris stepped into the role as president to chair the meeting. The seniors rally will be held on May 29 at the Howick community centre. They are looking for volunteers for the leadership positions. The seniors Olympics will be held at the Legion in Harriston on June 11.

Guest speaker Eleonora Munnik of Clifford shared maps and moments in her life as a youngster in the Netherlands during the war. Playing with her sister during mommy’s quiet time, quickly turned to uncertain times with no phones, no radios, blown out bridges, and impassable roadways, she recalled. Her family found ways to hide her brother from being dragged off to work in the factories so the older workers could go to war. They safely hid in the cellar praying in silence to be spared from the bombings when the sirens signalled a raid.  As the days progressed and school carried on, her dad was given special permission to ride his bicycle to school to teach.  There was no hydro, no gas, so pedalling a bicycle became the source of energy to create electricity. When the food rations were so thin and noodles gone, soup needed to be thickened with ground tulip bulbs.

“I don’t recall the taste. I didn’t complain. I was happy to have something to eat to fill the empty hole in my belly enough to fall asleep. It was such a relief when the war was over,” Munnik said.

Munnik arrived in Canada in 1957 with her husband George who recently passed away after 57 years of marriage. They landed in Montreal, visited with cousins for four days, and headed to Edmonton and a career in oil and design. After more moves, four children, and a career in Mississauga, they retired to Moorefield. Eleonora’s daughter Irma DeVries helped her with the presentation. With Easter and springtime as their theme, the committee of Gladys Zimmerman, Ethel Whitehead, and Bonnie Whitehead shared a scrambled Easter egg guessing game, some Easter goodies, and some Easter songs. The ladies proceeded to supper at the Redwood Restaurant in Clifford with hosts Jim and Marlene Dennie. Next month, the Merry Makers will meet at Jamesway and head to the Fordwich Nursing Home for a day of music and merriment. Call president Barb Harris 519-327-8138 for details or to join the in the fun.