It was a new chapter in their lives and like many newcomers to town they didn’t know many people.
Fortunately, that was about to change.
“Within two weeks of our moving in, Norma Mosher, who lived next door, and I sort of introduced ourselves out in front of our house (on Harris Avenue),” said John, a native of Comox, B.C.
A friendship between the Harris’s and Mosher, who was then in her late 70s, began to develop.
“From the outset, Becky and I found Norma very friendly and motherly,” said John, who is now 68. “She was interested in important things. Norma took a real interest in our family.”
For more than eight years the Harris’s found Norma to be an excellent neighbour.
“You could never find one better,” John said. “When I did small things like trimming some tree branches over her garage or putting salt down on her driveway in the winter, Norma was so thankful and appreciative. She would say ‘oh, thank you so much.’ Norma noticed these little things.”
In the fall of 2012, the Harris’s learned Mosher had been hospitalized.
“Becky and I visited Norma in the hospital,” John recalled. “On one occasion we took her fruitcake and she was very happy.”
In December, their thoughtfulness was reciprocated.
“Norma gave us a lovely cross-stitch (needle point). It was very much appreciated. Becky and I feel that it was to thank us for little things we had done for her.”
The Harris’s were saddened when Mosher, 86, died last month. Reading the obituary column in the Truro Daily News, the couple said they were astounded.
“What a special and extraordinary person lived next door,” Becky said. “We had no idea the extent of Mrs. Mosher’s background. We knew nothing about her accomplishments or what this lady had done for others. Quietly, she dedicated her life to bettering other people’s lives.
“We kind of wished that we had known her better. Mrs. Mosher certainly was not one to blow her own horn.”
John marveled at the contributions Mosher had made locally, provincially and internationally.
“Norma was a member of the Colchester Chapter IODE (a women’s charity group) as well as being involved provincially,” John said. “She was treasurer and served on the board of the Truro Music Festival, and was involved with the Colchester Regional Hospital Auxiliary, the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition and the Colchester Historical Society. She was a member of the First United Church, Truro.”
John also noted that Mosher had spent four years as a Halifax County municipal councilor, had been a member of the Women’s Institute of Nova Scotia for over 40 years and was instrumental in setting up a buckle-up baby program where each new baby left a hospital with an infant car seat and belt.
She also served with the Halifax Municipal School Board, Halifax County Library, Dartmouth Regional Vocational School, Canadian Home Economics Association, the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists, Boy Scouts and the Red Cross.
“Norma deservingly received numerous awards,” John said. “She was a remarkable lady and I feel she should be considered for the Order of Nova Scotia posthumously.”
Joan Sponagle, Norma’s daughter, said that Norma’s grandchildren wondered how the family ever got to see their mother.
“I’m impressed with how she could raise four children and be so involved with so many endeavors,” said Sponagle, who lives in Lower Sackville. “We had many great times as a family and our mother was a great influence to all of us.”
TAGLINE: Lyle Carter’s column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.