Busy Bees stay busy in Can­tuar for over 70 years

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

“The peo­ple did not mind sit­ting up there for and hour and a half and if you called them too soon they would be kind of up­set be­cause they didn’t get to visit enough,” Robert­son said.

Peo­ple would come from all around the coun­try­side to the Can­tuar Busy Bees Fowl Sup­per, and as Cur­rie ad­mits, it was no small task to feed the peo­ple that would come.

“We would feed count­ing our­selves, up to 500 peo­ple,” Cur­rie said. “That would mean 16 to 25 pound tur­keys, and we would need 16 peo­ple to cook th­ese tur­keys.”

It was truly a mon­u­men­tal task for the Busy Bees with lots of be­hind the scenes work in or­der to pull off the sup­per.

The peo­ple that were in charge of cook­ing the tur­keys also had to pro­vide a gal­lon of gravy along with at least a gal­lon of stuff­ing in ad­di­tion to the 25 pound turkey. That per­son would also have to cook 25 pounds of turnips or 20 pounds of pota­toes and a large salad and bring pick­les.

If you didn’t cook a turkey, you had to cook a large dutch oven of peas and car­rots, or 25 pounds of turnips and pota­toes and sup­ply six pies. There were a lot of days taken up to pre­pare this an­nual event.

“When you men­tioned to other peo­ple how much food you brought as a per­son they could hardly be­lieve it,” said Cur­rie.

Robert­son added there was work that needed to be done be­fore and af­ter the event as well.

“We al­ways had clean up on Fri­day. We had to get the hall ready and then clean up af­ter­wards on Mon­day.”

As Robert­son put it there was no tak­ing a break dur­ing the event.

“We each had our own jobs and you didn't work shifts, you worked from three un­til nine or un­til we had ev­ery­thing cleaned up at night.”

“We each had our own jobs and we stuck with them over the years. I was the cof­fee and tea per­son and I did that for over 25 years.”

One thing the ladies did not do was the dishes, as it was a tra­di­tion for the men to do all of the dishes at the fowl sup­per.

It was not all work and no fun for the Busy Bees, and some­times sto­ries came out of how the rook­ies maybe had to be bailed out when it came to mak­ing their six pies.

“Pie mak­ing would be the big­gest thing. Th­ese would be young girls, maybe 20, a young bride that just started and maybe never made a pie. We had one say that she just was try­ing to roll out her crust and I mean this was for six pies, it is not a lit­tle job. She got so frus­trated she had a ball of dough and she was go­ing to throw it at the wall and a neigh­bour walked in and helped her make her pies.”

“An­other girl had to bake 13 pies to get six good ones. It didn’t take long how­ever for th­ese women to get pro­fi­cient.”

It was also a very ef­fi­cient group as there was not much room for the ladies to work in at the hall.

“We had two stoves go­ing and peo­ple do­ing turnips, do­ing peas and car­rots, pota­toes. They were mash­ing and get­ting ev­ery­thing all ready and ev­ery­thing was al­ways hot.”

It was al­ways a chal­lenge to pull off the Can­tuar Busy Bees Fowl sup­per but they al­ways worked and worked out well.

While the names of the peo­ple have changed over the years, the Can­tuar Busy Bees con­tin­ues on and hope­fully enough peo­ple will be­come mem­bers to help keep the 70-year tra­di­tion alive.

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