Preserving memories scrap by scrap

Scrapbookers unite for a full day of cutting and pasting

ScrapDay 2007
Saturday, September 29
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Grand Bend Legion
Twelve hours of scrapbooking, door prizes, raffles. Bring your own supplies. Vendors will have some materials for purchase on-site.
Sponsored by Creative Memories, Memory Lane, Close To My Heart, Stampin’ Up, and Studs For Your Duds
$48 entry fee includes lunch, dinner and snacks. Event catered by Ian’s Kitchen.
$2 admission to shop only.
Tickets: 519-238-6390 or Memory Lane in Zurich (519-236-7789)

Story and photos by Casey Lessard

“When I first saw the scrapbook mom made for me, I was so excited that I started to cry,” says Charlie Love, 18, of Grand Bend. Her mom Joan is a member of a scrapbooking group that meets weekly at the Grand Bend Youth Centre. Charlie joins them when she is home from university in Victoria, B.C.
“I got into it a few years ago for Charlie’s 16th birthday,” Joan says. “I wanted to do a book where her friends would each do a page. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to trace some of the family history, too? It’s been fascinating tracing how our ancestors came to Canada and the neat details of why. One book became two books. One with her friends and one with our family history.”
“It’s not just a craft,” says Lynn Wilber, who turned her interest in scrapbooking into a job. “It’s the importance of preserving the family memories. The company I work for (Creative Memories) works closely with the Alzheimer’s Society, preserving memories for people whose memories will eventually disappear.”
The 10 group members who meet Mondays to scrapbook can thank Grand Bend’s Kim Widdis for bringing them together in one place to share their hobby and ideas.
“I’ve been scrapbooking since I was a kid,” Widdis says. “Since it came into fashion about 10 years ago, I just got into it in a bigger way. I didn’t know too many other people who did it and it’s not fun doing a hobby by yourself. I started talking to people and they were interested. I thought, why not have a scrapbooking fundraiser? The youth centre can always use the funds. We did it at the legion. We had 50 people and raised $2,000.”
“After the fundraiser, I put a sign up on the blackboard at the youth centre and in the flyer. It’s just been word of mouth. We as a group are continuing Mondays all year.”
“Everyone here scrapbooks in a different way,” Wilber says. “Scrapbooking’s very personal. And that’s what I love about it.”
“When people see the books,” adds Nancy Chambers of Exeter, “they see real history. The history of these people.”
“Grand Bend and Parkhill have phenomenal resources with the stories people have,” notes Joan Love, “and if you don’t get them down, those people aren’t going to be around forever. A lot of them are older and you have to record this information while they’re still alive.”
“It’s great – now I know all the stories about my family,” Charlie adds.
But now that her mom has done such a good job of preserving the memories of her family and friends, Joan’s workload tripled.
“I ended up doing this for one child,” she says, “but I have three kids, so now I have to do books for each of them.”
As far as Lynn Wilber is concerned, it’s better than the alternative.
“You go to the Pinery Flea Market and you see boxes of family photos. They’re memories that are long gone. But my kids will have the story of my life and that of my family’s. It’s about journaling thoughts and feelings. It’s not just about photos. My kids will be able to look back and know how I was feeling.”