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Catherine F. Roberts

This story is submitted by Doreen M. Weatherbie of Head Office in Charlottetown. This story is about family tradition involving Doreen, her mother Catherine F. Roberts, and her daughter Julie.

"My mother and I were sitting knitting as we usually do in the evening, when my 19 year old daughter, Julie, asked about the art of knitting, she thought it a very difficult technique to master. My mother being the avid teacher, passed the knitting over to Julie and started showing her the stitches, which were a basic knit. During the course of the lesson she told us of her first experience knitting, during the Second World War.

Private Henry Copeland, my uncle, Mom's older brother, was in Germany at the time and had asked for warm socks. He liked the long knee high regimental khaki socks. My mother, wanting to help and please her brother whom she had always admired, proceeded to learn how to knit. Now if you have ever knitted, you know socks are not the easiest item to knit, let alone attempt on your first try. But my mother was never one to give up. During the war, she worked at St. Joseph's Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, as an admitting officer. During her lunch hour and breaks, she proceeded to learn how to knit. Did I mention my mother was a perfectionist! The staff would watch her and comment on the length of time it took her to knit these socks, but Mom never faltered and one year later Uncle Henry's socks were winging their way to Germany, one pair of knee high khaki wool socks! My mother's supervisor at the time, Miss Hill, a very strict, no nonsense kind of gal, stated: "If it took that long for me to knit a pair of socks, I'd dig a hole and bury them!"

Well, as I see it, the moral of the story is "you just don't give up." I am ever so glad my mother did not give up and was able to teach Julie and I the wonderful art of knitting and storytelling, both are wonderful traditions you love to pass on!"

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