Community Spirit, Tumbler Ridge Happy Hookers

On the afternoon of January 14th I dropped in on the weekly get together of the ? Happy Hookers?, these women like to knit, crochet and embroider. They meet each week in room one at the Community Center. This was one of the nicest afternoons I have spent for a long time. The group carried on with their knitting etc while they chatted about everything from politics, senior needs and many other topics, all done with a sense of humour that was contagious.

In conversation, it seems that just the seven that were attending that afternoon had almost three hundred years of experience between them learning these crafts around the age of eight. As children, they learned to knit from moms, aunts and grandmothers. One woman learned in the school she attended in California where needlecrafts were offered as a special course. Brownies and Girl Guides offered an opportunity to learn to knit. One woman learned her skills from an aunt while she was growing up in Scotland. It seems these crafts were an integral part of living in rural and farming areas when they were young girls.

I also learned that this is a place where your friends help you pick out a new pair of eye glass frames, let you test a new recipe on them, and listen to your concerns about the community in a positive way and talk in support of a friend that may be having a difficult time.

This group has been meeting for about eight or nine years and have a small drop in fee for covering refreshments. You have probably seen some of their work for sale in the Medical Center, where their donations help raise money for the Hospital Auxiliary. They have knitted hats for cancer patients, and donated hat & mitt sets for Christmas hampers.

In talking to a more recent member of this group, she tells me that she enjoys belonging to this type of organization. There is no schedule or mandatory meetings, it is strictly ?drop in? she says, so if I miss a week or two or even more there is no problem. You can come when you want and just drop your toonie drop-in fee into the mug and pick up where you left off. There are about ten members in this ?Happy Hookers? group and they encourage new people to take part. They also take donations of wool so if you have any tucked away that you do not need it will be gratefully accepted.

So like me, you will pass by Room One on a Wednesday afternoon in the Community Center, the door is always open, with coffee aromas and laughter filling the air and a room full of smiling faces. Each one of these women has a special story. I am sure after just sitting there for two hours and listening to them, they really know how to multi-task as they can knit, embroider, laugh, tell jokes, answer my questions and never drop a stitch.