Friday, June 25, 2010

story: Eddie

Eddie has volunteered here at the Riley Park Community Centre for about 5-6 years. He manages the Community Garden and is on the Seniors Committee. Eddie seems to be a very busy fellow, despite being retired for 20 years!

Eddie wanted to start the garden here for the seniors. He began getting involved by leading the groups of high school kids who would volunteer to clean it up and get school credit. Although he has never worked as a gardener, he learned all he knows through reading, as well as trial and error he says.

Eddie shows me (Lisa W.) around the garden, pointing out that not much has come in this year due to some cold weather. He is growing three different kinds of lettuce, potatoes, beets, and loads of rhubarb. He also has numerous planters of beautiful flowers, which are planted by Beverly!

Eddie comes here a few days a week to care for the garden, which is handy because he lives across the street from the community centre! Before being involved here Eddie ran a grocery store on 41st and W. Blvd. His family is from China. In 1851 his Great Grandfather started a sugar plantation in Hawaii, and in the 1880's his Grandfather came to BC to work on the rail roads. Eddie was born in Vancouver, and was the only Asian person in his high school grad class in 1948. He just had his 60th reunion at Magee Secondary School.

In the four decades he has lived in this neighbourhood, Eddie has noticed a lot of new families moving in. He hopes the garden will stay where it is even though the Community Centre is being demolished. He is busy today preparing the garden for the 18th Annual Little Mountain and Riley Park Festival, which is Sunday June 27th from 11:00am - 4:00pm. He will be giving away plants, flowers and bulbs.

Eddie says of the garden, "It's a nice little plot for anyone who wants to grow things... It gives me a little peace of mind."

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