The Truro Rotary Club held their weekly luncheon recently at Truro’s Best Western Glengarry. One of approximately 40 people on hand, I appreciated an invitation from club members Christine Blair and Kevin Quinlan.
Following the meal, chairperson and emcee Blair introduced guest speaker Hattie Dyck. As those of us seated at tables listened intently, Blair pointed out that Dyck was born in Shubenacadie and grew up in Lower Selma. Blair heralded Dyck for being the author of 11 books and being the first woman president of the Kiwanis Club of Truro.
With all eyes glued on her, Dyck made her way to the microphone. What would follow from the lips of this diminutive woman can only be described as outstanding.
Dyck went on to give a talk that had everyone’s full attention, was full of information and, best of all, it was brilliantly funny at many points.
“It is said that when a senior dies the world loses a library,” Dyck commented. “I fully believe this.”
Dyck pointed out that most people will not be able to leave a monetary legacy when they leave this world.
“But all of us develop our own unique contribution to the world,” she said. “My books will be a legacy of fun, as I have documented the great characters who lived during the good ol’ days. My books are based mainly in Colchester and East Hants where I grew up and still call home.”
Dyck went on to share several sayings she learned from people over the years:
“…No matter how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides.”
“…You are either part of the problem, part of the answer or part of the landscape.”
“…There’s so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to criticize the rest of us.”
Before concluding her interesting talk, Dyck paused to pull on an old cap. She then shared a colourful poem titled, A Farmer Buys A Bra. It was so funny, club members Wayne Gillis and Ken Banks struggled to keep from falling off their chairs.
The long and short, a farmer from the sticks was asked by his wife to run one easy errand while in a town nearby. She wanted a bra picked up at a specialty store. The farmer was the centre of attention as he entered, for the very first time, a women’s garment store.
Finally, in trying to explain to the clerk the bra he wanted and the size from among 10 different styles available, the farmer removed his cap.
“Look, I did the measuring last night, they are the same size as my cap,” he blurted out. “I just want to buy a bra – size seven and one-eighth.”
Yes, Dyck stole the show Monday. The 87-year-old spoke for just the right length of time and, as someone said following her talk, “Hattie really dazzled Truro Rotary Club members.”
Asked about giving public talks, Dyck said, “I used to get quite a number of requests to speak, but these days, not so many.”
Dyck was so professional standing before the microphone.
“Oh my golly, I was so looking forward to talking to the Truro Rotary Club. Over the years, with my career in newspaper, I met many of their members.”
Dyck’s first book was Sayings From Wise People written in 2001. Her last, from 2015, is titled Memories From Nova Scotia.
Dyck began as a writer with the Halifax Chronicle Herald in 1959; she retired in 1992.
Quinlan informed me Truro Rotary Club has 67 members; the president is Ryan Beazley.
“Rotarians get to do an awful lot of good locally and internationally,” said Quinlan. “Anywhere we travel on the planet, we’re welcome to visit other clubs. We are always looking for new members, if anyone is interested in giving to the community, this is the best show in town.”
Originally from Buchans, N.L., Quinlan, a Boston Bruins fan, spent 14 years as campus principal of Nova Scotia Community College, Truro. He was previously a professor at the University of Regina.
-Lyle Carter’s column appears every second week in the Truro News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 90