Are there any other stories that we missed that you’d like to tell us?
Oh my, that puts me on the spot. The big earthquake, I was working in Summerland but my parents were home. They had a big china cabinet. It was in the morning and the china cabinet did this (gesturing) and then went back. They had visions of the dishes coming out. But the school teacher was boarding at a house in Heriot Bay and when she went down the stairs, the chimney followed her. Odd things like that. But the road was closed south of Campbell River. The road dropped down to sea level and the bank just fell over it. Some bricks fell off the top of the post office there, which is the museum today. That was Courtenay’s earthquake, but apparently the centre of it was north of Heriot Bay. The end of Rebecca Spit dropped and all the trees got in the salt water and all died. Really there wasn’t anything much otherwise, but that’s our BIG earthquake. They’re always telling us we’re going to get a bigger one one day.
The one we’re supposed to get is really big, 9.4 on the Richter scale.
They’re getting bigger and stronger aren’t they? Earth is angry at us, you know. What can you do? It’s sure acting out, letting us know that it doesn’t like things.
I don’t know if your record is interested in the fact that I make Teddies for Tragedies. That’s his head and his shirt and his pants. He’s getting there. They do to the Doctors Without Borders so when they’re operating on some little guy they give him a teddy bear to hug. I think it’s a wonderful idea. We used to talk about the war effort but that goes on all the time.
I bought this in Moscow. Most of their toys are wooden in Moscow. I went to the Ukraine and they were all plastic and everything but in Russia, in Moscow. I worked in a school as a house mother. July and August we were closed, so every July I went somewhere and one year I went to Russia and to Ukraine. Every year I went somewhere different. I went to Greece one year, and China. I wouldn’t go down to Australia because that’s two days on the airplane.
What does it mean to you to be Canadian?
Very important. Look at the Olympics. We’re already number 2 when it comes to who won the most medals. Isn’t that incredible? I mean, we’re a big country. It’s not all jammed full of people either. We’ve got a lot of territory to keep track of. I think we do marvelously. Sometimes we criticize our government but that’s normal. I’m very proud to be a Canadian and so was my father. He was born in Ontario.
Do you have any advice that you want to give us?
Well, love is number one. Warmth. Well, love and warmth are kind of the same thing. That’s what people need. Paying attention to your neighbour if he’s in trouble. I’m supposed to be the authority on these things.
And stay in touch with nature – because nature knows a lot more than human beings do, always will, it’s been around for thousands and thousands of years. We humans have an idea that we know better than nature does all the time. We’re always trying to improve on it.
I appreciate you youngsters’ interest. I hope you have learned something today.