There are few feelings quite as warm and comforting as slipping on a pair of warm, cozy socks. For Anne Slade of Tompkins, Saskatchewan, and her friends, socks represent a way to show appreciation.
Right to left: Anne Slade, Helen Paul, Dick Wells and Judy Wells. All are from Tompkins.
As 2017 marks not only Canada's 150th birthday, but also 100 years since the battle of Vimy Ridge, Slade was looking for a way to give back to those veterans. She turned to her local knitting group for inspiration and this project was born: "100 Socks for Vimy Ridge", where she and her knitting group would knit beautiful socks specifically for veterans at Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon.
Helen Paul delivers a pair of socks
Slade explained that socks played a vital role for soldiers on the front-lines. "The socks were a lovely gift, but they were also very important to their foot health and to their survival. So we thought socks would just exemplify how important we find the Vets today are to our country and to us," said Slade. Each and every pair of socks the ladies knitted was fitted with a tag to show where it was made, along with an inspirational message.
In September, Slade, along with her friends Helen Paul, Judy Wells and Dick Wells, made the four-hour trek from Tompkins to Saskatoon to personally deliver the socks to the veterans.
"This is great," said veteran Alfred Schmidt as he held a pair of green and black wool socks. "What a wonderful idea."
Alfred Schmidt receives a pair of socks from Helen Paul
This project was a personal one for Slade. In the early 1990's, as she attended university, she would walk past the old Veterans Village on Preston Avenue. She formed several friendships with the veterans there, leaving a lasting impression on her. Slade also had a personal connection to the Canadian Military.
"One of the pair of socks I knitted was in memory of my three uncles who died and my cousins who never were. So, they're beautiful. We've had beautiful sentiments come with them, and we're just so happy and so proud of our Vets," she said.