Tying flies to support the Samaritan Club of Calgary
The Hillhurst Sunnyside community centre is a busy place as volunteers set up for the Samaritan club's fall rummage sale.
In one corner, Russell Wilson, 92, checks electrical items to make sure they're in working order and over in the sporting goods section, his fishing flies are set to reel in some cash for the club.
Wilson ties hundreds of the small, intricate flies every year, and keeps a few, but most are sold at the club's fall and spring rummage sales.
“They do real well. This is what they really like is this, they'll, see they'll pick the whole box. Some guy came down, I think it was last year, and he bought $180 worth,” said Wilson.
He stays home on sale day and his daughter Jeanette handles the selling of the flies.
She's amazed at the things her dad is still able to do.
“He can do the fishing in the summer but during the winter he catches up on all his fly tying and comes up with his own designs and patterns and, you know, he just enjoys it so much. But I’m amazed myself that someone at his age could still be able to do that because it's such fine work.”
Gwen Fujino is president of the Samaritan Club of Calgary and says having Wilson check all the electrical items for the rummage sale is a real asset.
“He makes sure that the item they bought is actually going to work. You don't get to do that at somebody's house at their garage sale but here you know that the hair blower and the radio and the frying pan have been tested,” said Fujino.
The next rummage sale will be held the first Saturday of May next year and Wilson will spend the winter months tying hundreds of fishing flies to sell then.
For all he does to help the Samaritan Club of Calgary help needy Calgarians, Russell Wilson is our Inspiring Albertan this week.
(With files from Darrel Janz)