CHEK Upside: Saanich senior pairs Canadian love affair with Canada Day cards

WatchA Saanich grandmother who once lived in Nazi-occupied Holland is hard at work making cards to honour our nation's birthday.

A Saanich grandmother is hard at work making cards to honour our nation’s birthday.

Geraldine Wolters is a retired kindergarten teacher turned part-time paper folding artist.

She learned the craft in her native Holland, and is now producing hand made cards out of her home office. Most of the time she creates her own patterns, some of which involve over 90 different folds.

“I love making cards,” she said.

Wolter’s love affair with Canada began in the final days of the Second World War. She was a young girl living in Nazi-occupied Holland when her village was liberated by Canadian troops. Even 75 years on, it’s still fresh in her mind.

“We were freed by the Canadian people and I still remember when the tank came down the road,” recalled Wolters. “We said ‘mom, mom, the Canadezen, the Canadezen,’ it was really special.”

In time, Canada would again come calling. This time love beckoned.

Geraldine met a man named Syrt in 1960. He lived in Victoria, and just a year later Geraldine flew to meet him on Canada Day 1961. She’s been here ever since.

For the last 52 years, Victoria has been home.

It’s where she became a kindergarten teacher, raised four kids, and brought her love of paper folding to a whole new generation.

“I had memories of teaching in Holland. The kids loved working with colours and the fun thing for me is what it will look like when I’m finished,” says Geraldine.

There have been pieces to commemorate the liberation of the Netherlands, Canada’s 150th celebration and now cards to remind Canadians of their own country on a Canada Day like no other.

To purchase one of Geraldine’s Canada Day or healthcare thank you cards, you can send an email to [email protected].

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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