Aged Charity Workers – By Betty Laver

Betty Brett

We often hear of aged people who do much charitable work for the different originations around town and I tip my hat to all of them.

Today I would like to tell about a small unnamed group of people. Col and Joy Bebendorf are members of the New Apostolic Church and about fifteen years ago Joy started a morning where ladies could come and learn craft. Joy found that some ladies couldn’t even sew on a button, but she had the patience to work with these ladies. She felt it was a lot of fun and she soon saw how many were improving and expanding their crafts. Quite a few ladies were from the Endeavour foundation and sometimes she had as many as fifteen people at a time.

About three years ago Joy became ill so she and Col limited the classes and they were holding them in their own home. As Joy’s health became worse, Col moved her into New Auckland Place and the craft group met there. Joy Bebendrof celebrated her 80th birthday on Monday 12th March 2018.

The group now rotate around one of their homes every Wednesday. There are only about eight people who keep up this arrangement and Col brings Joy to the morning whenever he can. They spend about four hours sitting and chatting while doing whatever craft they are into at the time. Of course, morning tea is a very important requirement and each act as host.

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of visiting them at the home of Betty Brett, a sprightly 91-year-old. Jenny Winning was making coat hangers and Shirley Kelly was stitching embroidery. Colin Bebendorf does tapestry and has taught this to some of these seniors. Col also does woodwork and makes many household items that are handy. Mary Carmichael was doing tapestry and had a lovely piece to display.

I was fascinated to watch Bevis Carmichael making mittens out of Alpaca wool and I was told that he also spins the wool first. Betty Brett was making woollen premature baby bonnets, and she learned this craft from Bevis. Most of the articles that are made by these people go to charities like Red Cross, Mission to Seamen etc.

The group have made over 3000 Trauma Bears over the years and these have all been donated. The important thing about this occasion is the social atmosphere, which all enjoy so much. The craft activities give much-needed exercise to both the brain and fingers. What a wonderful group!