Margaret Gilbertson is well loved in the Parkdale Cromdale community. Having been an active member for 33 years, she is currently enjoying retirement in the company of her Granddaughter along with her dog, Zoe. Margaret adores sewing projects and the soothing harmonies of the Everly brothers and looks forward to taking on the responsibilities of Gaming Director, having done the same role a few years earlier. To take a look into the rich history of this lovely lady, we thought we’d ask her a few questions. Take a look:
Tia: How long have you been apart of the community league?
Margaret: We moved here in 1965 and we didn’t do too much with the community league when my daughter when my daughter was a little bit smaller but I started working there in 1985 because they had a step program. We cleaned the building (and I needed) so, that’s how we started and we’ve been going ever since.
Bryce: What were your favorite games and hobbies?
M: Vanessa’s boyfriend came yesterday after supper and we played crib. I haven’t played crib since my husband passed away - We used to play lots. I very seldom beat him. *Laughter*
T: It’s a more complicated game than people give it credit for.
M: Yes, well actually we played a lot of crib when my daughter was small because that’s how she learned to count. We also like removoli and a lot of scrabble, that was another way for her to learn spelling, was scrabble. Other than that, I play solitaire by myself sometimes.
T: What are some of the important choices or decisions you made that you have learned from?
M: I learned that I quit my job too soon. I worked for 20 years with GWG and I decided to stay home.
T: When did you quit?
M: Well I started in 1963 and left in 1983. When you make those decisions, you’re minus that paycheque and things get a little tighter. That’s actually why we started working in the hall because we could do it on our own time. My husband worked very early hours then, we worked from 4 am till noon, and then we would go to the hall after and do whatever we needed to do. That’s one decision I made that I shouldn’t have, I figure I should have hung in another ten years or so. But anyways, it was good to be home because my grandkids started coming along, then we had them here from one year old and up. I value that tim with them as babies and growing up with them. They talk so much about their grandfather now and all the things they did together and I’m happy that I did that.
T: What is the best advice you’ve been given that you’d perhaps like to share with other people?
M: Oh gosh...don’t buy anything that you don’t need because you see *Points around* stuff. It’s only stuff and then when you have too much stuff and you have to clean it and look after it. I’m starting to downsize already, which I should have done long ago, and it may not look I’ve done anything but I actually have. It’s a work in progress. I’ve been busy the last couple of weeks because my friend from Sundry - She phoned to see if I could make her some slacks and some blouses. So I’m just finishing up on that now and I’ve been sewing for the last couple weeks for seven or eight hours a day. Once I have something to do, then I have to get it done and out of my hair. But I like to sew, I’ve always liked sewing and I've done it since I was 12.
T: What do you like to sew the most?
M: Well you know...I have a friend who will bring me so many things: “Can you do this for me?” At one time I was making so many bridesmaids dresses and they were so delicate. So much hand work. I never made any money out of that because it took hours and hours, but boy did they look nice when they were done. Now I sew more for other people than myself. When I worked at GWG, I learned a lot, I could even make a pair of jeans. So I learned a lot from there that helped with regular sewing. Sewing is relaxing for me.
* Pause* I may be going a little crazy and I’ll tell you a name you don't know but the Everly Brothers? I like their music more now and they’re harmonizing is so beautiful, soothing, and calming. That seems to be all I ever listen to anymore. The kids think I’m looney, but I need to educate them on music and pass it down to the generations!
B: Speaking of passing down to the generations, I’m sure you’ve been giving advice a lot of your life, what kind of piece of advice do you give to your grandchildren?
M: Well I’ve been telling all my grandchildren (and I’m not so sure they’re listening to me) that when you get your first job, you get your paycheque, then open a bank account and take 10% out of savings and leave it there.
T: You have taken over the position of the gaming director, what drew you to that rather than other positions and what will you be doing as gaming director?
M: I did it for several years before and then Raquel was doing it last. So when she said she didn’t want to do it anymore, seeing as I’ve done it, that’s why I took it again. Without the gaming, the community hall probably wouldn’t be open because the casino pays for so much of things. Now that we have the rentals, there are more ways to make money, but for a time this was the only way to fund the league.
T: If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?
M: With the gaming it’s just to be able to fill the positions of what need - Bingo and Casino every two years. This year is finished for the Casino’s, so we won’t have another one until 2020. When you get to my age you don’t look too far ahead but I think we’ll raise lots of money and get more people involved.
A special thank you goes to Margaret for allowing us a chance to learn a little more about her. We’re glad she’s back with us again to take on this role.