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Seniors in Profile: Englee woman known as a caring neighbour in her community

Edna Randell, 81, still keeps her garden full with lots of fine vegetables.
Edna Randell, 81, still keeps her garden full with lots of fine vegetables. - Contributed

Edna Randell shows off her garden

ENGLEE, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

Edna Randell of Englee is not letting her age slow her down quite yet.

All summer long, the 81-year-old has been tending to her garden and has a fine crop to show for her work.

Her daughter Michelle shared pictures of her mother’s garden on Facebook on Aug. 28, displaying the impressive rhubarb and potatoes she’s yielded this summer.

It drew lots of attention, receiving over 100 likes, over 30 shares and lots of comments congratulating the lady on a job well done.

All in all, with the cooperation from the weather, Edna and Michelle say it might be her best crop yet.

They estimate the garden is about 30 x 60 feet.

Along with the potatoes and rhubarb, Edna has also grown cabbage and turnip this year.

She’ll take it all up in October and shares much of it with her family.

Edna says her favourite thing to grow is the potatoes. Why? Because she likes the work that goes into it.

“I loves the work,” she told the Northern Pen during a phone interview.

Edna doesn’t let her age stop her.

“Last year she said it was going to be her last year,” Michelle laughs. “But of course, she did it again this year.”

Edna says she’ll continue “as long as it pleases God.”

Michelle describes her mother as a “hard-working” and “very caring” person who has played an active role in her community as well.

“I’m always proud of her, for more than her garden,” she says.

Born Aug. 10, 1937, Edna grew up in Williamsport but moved to Englee with her family when the community resettled in 1967.

She says it was difficult at first but eventually they got used to the change.

With her husband Andrew, she raised four children.

For a living, Edna worked at the local store and restaurant where she was well-known around the community. In later years, she fished with her husband.

He passed away in 2013.

As a resident of Englee, Edna’s had her hand in all kinds of things around town over the years.

According to Michelle, she’s well known for her good deeds for other people, always willing to lend a hand to those down on their luck.

“One particular family were living in a box that came off a truck, like a transport truck box,” says Michelle. “The woman was trying to raise her family in that environment.”

Edna helped guide the family through the process and eventually helped them build a new home.

In fact, Edna’s done lots of carpentry over the years, helping people renovate and build homes.

And she had a hand in building her own house in 1973.

“She’s quite the carpenter,” her daughter says.

She’s also helped feed people, always willing to share food for those hungry.

“I loves to help people if I sees a need,” Edna explains simply.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

The Northern Pen’s recurring feature looks at the lives of seniors along the Northern Peninsula and southern Labrador. If you know a local senior with an interesting story to tell, email info@northernpen.ca or call 709-454-2191.

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