Ballito’s Granny Beanie has not let her fading eyesight stop her from keeping children and adults warm and snug during winter months.
The Ballito Rotary ex-president and current member Gill Reid has macular degeneration and while she has had to give up many an activity, the clickedy clicking of her knitting needles is one thing she still masters with ease.
“I cannot drive, read or use emails anymore, but I can knit,” said the nearly 80-year-old great grandmother who was born in the UK.
She joined Ballito Rotary shortly after moving to the coastal town in 2006 and, much to her surprise, was immediately given the role of secretary.
“I went on holiday and came back to find out I was elected as secretary. I had absolutely no idea about Rotary, but I played along and have loved it ever since. It’s kept me out of mischief and I met a lot of people through it.”
Now, she is Rotary’s head knitter and has made about 170 beanies which were distributed to Inquolabane, Shakaskraal SP School and the Christian Community Outreach in Ndwedwe last year.
“I am always busy knitting – it’s good fun. Sometimes I drop a stitch, but luckily my friend and fellow Rotarian Gail Stefano covers up my mistakes with a pretty crochet flower. It’s a nice reason to meet for tea too,” said Reid, who took a short break from beanies to knit jerseys for her recently born great grandson, Carter.
When she is not knitting, the widow enjoys travelling – which she has done extensively – and cooking.
“I used to have a catering business and have always loved cooking. I still cook today, even with my poor eyes. I haven’t chopped my fingers off yet,” said Reid, who is known for her famous liver pâté with the special addition of sherry and brandy.
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