Dog a real good boy on In­sta­gram

Special pro­ject bring folks young and old to­gether to learn

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Birch, a nine-month-old pup, has be­come quite the hit on so­cial me­dia. Birch’s proud owner, Brooke His­cock, set up an In­sta­gram ac­count for the dog, an Aus­tralian shep­herd and Ger­man shep­herd mix. The ac­count has sur­passed 20,000 fol­low­ers, with fun pho­tos at­tract­ing lots of kudos from Birch’s fans.

HANT’S HAR­BOUR, NL — Seated in a small row of chairs, half-a-dozen girls care­fully knit wool un­der the tute­lage of a group of women con­sid­er­ably more ex­pe­ri­enced than they are.

“I think this is won­der­ful,” said Mary Sut­ton, pres­i­dent of the Sea­side Se­niors Club in Hant’s Har­bour. “We en­joy them just the same as they en­joy us.”

Th­ese young girls are learn­ing to knit as part of a larger pro­ject to share the tra­di­tional way of do­ing things with a younger gen­er­a­tion. Ear­lier this year, youth helped plant pota­toes in the Hant’s Har­bour com­mu­nity gar­den.

“We have the racks made and now they’re go­ing to dry capelin,” added pro­ject co-or­di­na­tor Ar­lene Bel­bin. “It’s not only for kids. In the fall we’ve got pro­grams for younger adults. We’ve got quilt­ing, can­ning, pre­serv­ing and bak­ing pies, breads, New­found­land tea buns and that sort of thing … What it is, is get­ting the se­niors in the com­mu­nity in­volved and pass­ing on the New­found­land tra­di­tions to the younger peo­ple.”

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment funded this pro­ject through the New Hori­zons for Se­niors Pro­gram, pro­vid­ing the Town of Hant’s Har­bour with over $24,000 to cover its cost.

“We were re­ally lucky we got the fund­ing, be­cause all the ma­te­ri­als are paid for, and there’s no cost to any­body,” said Bel­bin. “That makes it eas­ier for ev­ery­one then, be­cause some peo­ple, some­times they don’t take part in stuff be­cause it costs too much or what­ever. So this, there’s no cost to any of the par­ents, so it’s great.”

Right now, the kids drop by the Sea­side Se­niors Club Tues­day af­ter­noons to spend an hour and a half learn­ing to knit.

“We’re only a small com­mu­nity of 300, so we’re re­ally lucky to have a good group,” said Bel­bin. “They re­ally en­joy it.”

Sut­ton and her sis­ter Linda Critch, a fel­low mem­ber of the club, learned to knit as chil­dren from their older sib­lings. They’re more than happy to share those skills with chil­dren to­day.

“I got three girls, and I taught them how to knit too,” said Sut­ton.

Phyl­lis Smith, the club’s old­est mem­ber at the age of 91, thinks it’s a won­der­ful pro­gram.

“It’s amaz­ing,” she said. “I feel just as young as they do when I’m here.”

PHO­TOS BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COMPASS

Th­ese young kids are learn­ing to knit with some help from ex­pe­ri­enced hands. Seated from the left are Chloe Ge­orge, Melissa Ge­orge, Sarah Pitcher, Morgan Tuck, Ami­naLat­i­fah Adams, Abi­gail Penny and Kendall Ash.

Linda Critch looks on as Kendall Ash prac­tices her knit­ting at the home of the Sea­side Se­niors Club in Hant’s Har­bour.

Sophia Bishop of Win­ter­ton was only 30 min­utes into pick­ing up a knit­ting nee­dle when this photo was taken last Tues­day. Help­ing her along on the right is Phyl­lis Smith, the old­est mem­ber of the Sea­side Se­niors Club at 91.

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