| Nov 13, 2008

Nov 13/08 - Roberta Struthers Memorial Craft Show

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Feature Article - November 13, 2008 Roberta Struthers Memorial Craft and Bake SaleBy Julie Druker

Lisa, Judi, Ann, Jack, and Susan

Currently in its 11th year, Harrowsmith’s annual Odd Fellows and Rebekahs’ Craft & Bake Sale was renamed last year, for its 10th anniversary, in memory of its original founder, Roberta Struthers of Harrowsmith, who passed away in February 2007.

Struthers had intended to make the 10th anniversary a special one and since she passed away before it occurred it was decided to name the event in her memory.

Fellow Rebekah, Brenda Taylor, has since taken on the role as the sale’s organizer and explained, “Roberta was a very proud Rebekah. It was her brain child to have the sale to raise money for the Golden Links Hall and we have always done extremely well with it.”

The funds raised by the Rebekah bakers, along with the fees generated from tables rented by various crafters, go towards maintaining the hall throughout the year.

As is the custom, many of Roberta’s immediate family were present at this year’s sale. Her husband Jack continues to concoct Roberta’s famous horseradish and horseradish-flavoured beets, which as always sold out long before the sale ended.

Roberta’s daughters Judi, Lisa and Susan and their families spoke of Roberta and her dedication to her family and to the community.

She was the “hot dog lady” for years at Harrowsmith Public School”, daughter Susan recalled. “If Mom for some reason missed a weekly hot dog lunch, the kids refused to eat them since she made the best ones.”

Roberta also was actively involved in her husband Jack’s carpentry business for years. Her great sense of humour was well known and was enjoyed by all who knew her. She once wore a dress and bonnet for one of the Oddfellows and Rebekahs’ annual party, which she had designed and made from newspaper and called her “print dress.”

Granddaughter Brianna recalled manning her grandmother’s booth at the sale in years past while Roberta was busy taking care of all the smallest details.

Roberta also founded a family tradition of gift giving called, “What’s it?” She would pick up unusual items when she and her husband Jack were on drives around the countryside. She’d present them unwrapped and challenge the family to guess what the object was.

The “What’s it?” tradition continues on in the family as does the annual Oddfellows and Rebekahs’ Craft & Bake Sale in the community of Harrowsmith; a legacy of Roberta Struthers, and both examples of her commitment to family and community.

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