PHOTO GALLERY: Order of the Eastern Star members welcome one and all

Shirley Crosina at the annual tea and market Saturday. Angie Mindus photos
Peggi Chabot, Gwen Holmes and Elaine Balul chat at the market. Angie Mindus photos
Ralph Fowler and Toni Smith man the raffle table.
John Wiege with his wood wonders.
Connie Doebert, Val Fleming and Paulette Haller take a break from serving.
Order of the Eastern Star Princess Pine Chapter 67 members Leanne Mork (left) and Gail Peterson enjoy the feeling of kinship they get from the group.

Whether they are making bandages for cancer patients or serving customers at their annual tea and market, members of the Order of the Eastern Star Princess Pine Chapter 67 feel a kinship they say they find hard to put into words.

“It’s like coming home,” said Leanne Mork, trying to explain why she joined the group, which hosted its popular annual tea and market at St. Andrew’s United Church Saturday.

With 55-year members like Shirley Crosina or 34-year member, Toni Smith, it’s fair to say Mork is considered a new member at just a year-and-a-half half service. Despite that little time with the group, Mork feels like she has found family being a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Princess Pine Chapter 67.

“They are like my sisters. We are always helping each other and we have lots of laughs. It’s just like having a society with all your best friends.”

Paulette Haller couldn’t agree more, adding it’s “the girls and making cancer dressings” that keeps her a member.

“It’s a closeness we all share, and we have fun doing what we do.”

That feeling was evident at the tea Saturday, where members happily manned the raffle table, served tea, made sandwiches and sold craft items all to raise money to support a wide variety of local causes as well as provide free cancer dressings for everyone.

Members meet regularly to make bandages which are given to cancer patients free of charge on the referral of a health care provider.

Members also collect cancelled stamps, used and unused postcards, Campbell’s Soup labels and pull tabs from canned drinks which are then sold to raise funds for the Eastern Star’s Stamp out Cancer projects.

The group added the market to their tea in recent years, which has been an appreciated new addition to the event.

Smith helped man the raffle booth and has been given a lifetime membership by the Princess Pine Chapter 67.

At 91, Smith laughed and joked with members and customers Saturday and clearly had a great time helping out.

When asked what her secret to longevity was, Smith joked that the answer wasn’t something the Tribune could print, but then share it after some coaxing.

“Everyday at 4 p.m. I have a Kokanee and watch The Young and the Restless,” Smith said. “That’s my motto.”

Smith lived in Williams Lake from 1955 to 1975, and again from 2007 to present.

“I lived here when there were wooden sidewalks and horse railings.”

Market vendor John Wiege was on hand at the event selling his wood products he makes out of reclaimed wood, something he finds easy to obtain as a 36-year employee at West Fraser Plywood.

“I love turned wood into something,” he said. “I don’t do it for the money. It’s a hobby.”

Wiege said the Eastern Star’s tea and market is one of the few craft fairs he attends and enjoys the atmosphere.

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