The old adage ‘we don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing’ holds true for Bedford resident Pat M.
Pat is a member of Halifax’s Mayflower Doll Club, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Members get together to learn more about dolls and doll collecting, with different aspects of doll manufacturing or history discussed at meetings.
They also arrange displays in museums and libraries and use their dolls and related knowledge to help non-profit groups with fundraising.
“I joined because when I went there (to a meeting) I realized it was a fun and friendly group meeting in a great learning environment where the subjects were varied,” Pat said. “They also commit to community projects and are working to share their knowledge. It’s a very generous group.”
Pat, who doesn’t want to use her full name, said she took up the hobby of doll collecting about 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back.
“I actually found a doll that looked like one I had as a girl in an antique store and I thought ‘I should look and see if my mother still has it.’ But then I couldn’t sell it,” she recalled. “It needed a carriage, and then on and on it went. It evolved into a collection of things.”
Pat’s interest in preserving leisure items used by girls (particularly in the 1940s) is a way for her to preserve a piece of history.
“It’s a hobby that is actually second only to stamp collecting in popularity,” she said. “There are people in the club who collect just the new dolls, and some who have older ones, and everything in between. It’s individualized.”
Last year was an active year for the club as members commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the first Canadian toy and doll company (Dominion Toy Manufacturing Company). Club members signed a banner that was dipped in the Atlantic Ocean and flown to the west coast to be dipped in the Pacific.
They also held a doll sized quilt show, and then gave the dolls and quilts to senior women living at Victoria Hall. They also have a regular presence at the Shearwater hobby show every spring.
The group meets on the first Tuesday or each month at the Clayton Park Sobeys community room at 7 p.m. They always welcome new members who have an interest in dolls. Their next meeting is Nov. 6.