Knitting master, lifelong nurse
by Jennifer Westendorp
Edith Baker knows the true meaning of hard work. She’s a retired nurse who raised four kids and ran a small farm alongside her late husband, Gordon. The 96-year-old says nothing went to waste back then.
“I made all my kids clothes,” she explains. “I canned everything. We had a big garden on the farm. I can remember getting one load through the canner and then I’d have to put the next load in, have a nap, and then wake up and take them out when they were finished.”
Edith has been knitting for 90 years, beginning at the age of six. “I’m on dish cloths right now,” she notes. “During my lifetime, I’ve done everything, from hats and scarves to afghans.”
Edith was born in Orrville, a small village 16 miles from Parry Sound. She started training to become a nurse just before her 19th birthday. “I was going to be a nurse since the time I learned to talk, just like my Aunt Alice.”
After marrying Gordon in 1947, the couple moved to Morewood, where his family lived. “I came down here and worked at the Winchester Hospital,” she remembers. “I worked there until I retired, and then I went back the very next day to volunteer in the day care unit, taking care of patients. I did that for about eight years because I liked what I was doing.”
While Edith took care of people in the community – first on the maternity ward and then in the operating room – Gordon was busy farming their 50-acre parcel of land.
“We were very happy,” she says. “Later on, we moved into the village of Morewood because our son was living on the farm.”
Edith notes that the people in North Dundas are what make it such a great place to live. She could always rely on her neighbours and vice versa. She was living at the Garden Villa in Chesterville, but has since moved to Dundas Manor. Edith says life continues to treat her well.
“I do jigsaw puzzles and I’m knitting all the time.”
The days of going to Russell to attend dances are now just memories, but Edith trucks on with her knitting, unceasingly devoted to meaningful work. In her eyes, North Dundas hasn’t changed that much over the years – maybe a few more houses and businesses – but still the same great place she’s called home for over seven decades.
“It’s a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.”