One hundred years of hospitality

Assembling hospital bandages may seem like tedious work, but for Carol Lyle the rewards are plentiful.

Assembling hospital bandages may seem like tedious work, but for Carol Lyle the rewards are plentiful.

Lyle, a seven-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, choked up when asked about her commitment to the women’s auxiliary, a branch of the Masonic family.

“It means so much to me,” she said. “We’re dealing with people who are hurting and we’re putting smiles on their faces.”

This year marks the Eastern Star’s 100th anniversary in B.C. with a mandate of supporting cancer patients and raising money for cancer research. (Chilliwack Chapter 49 has been running for 84 years.)

On March 26, the organization is holding a talent show fundraiser in Chilliwack to help offset the costs of its 100th anniversary celebration being held in Langley from May 30 to June 1.

Lyle believes the organization deserves recognition.

“The work we do speaks for itself,” she said.

For as long as it’s been operating, its members have regularly met once a month, sometimes twice a month, to make bandages and head turbans which are distributed to hospitals and cancer clinics throughout the Vancouver, Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley regions.

In a fashion similar to an assembly line, the women unwrap the rolls of the gauze, cut pieces off, and fold it into four-by-four, six-by-six and 12-by-12 inch bandages.

“We make at least 100,000 bandages a year,” said Lyle.

They also make lap pads, warm blankets and knitted slippers for cancer patients.

They raise funds by collecting stamps, and use those funds to help purchase equipment for cancer clinics.

“We’re here to help people,” said Lyle.

The Eastern Star talent show is on March 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Masonic Hall on Hocking Ave.

Entertainers include the Sound of Music Trio, singer Elsie Giesbrecht, singer Johnny Forrest, formally of Don Messer’s Jubilee, Métis speaker Henry Hall, The Fraser Valley Métis Youth Jiggers, fiddler Keith Hill, and keyboardist Amy Eustergerling.

Tickets are $15 at the door. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.