Kay and Walter Atkinson
“I am honoured to accept membership in the Century Club but feel I must do so on behalf of my late wife,” writes Walter Atkinson. “I would be quite happy for this account to be just about Kay.”
Century Club Member's, Kay and Walter Atkinson share their journey to Moorelands
Mention Moorelands to a young immigrant mother and chances are she won’t think Camp Kawagama but Baby Bundles.
“My baby is lucky and happy to be born in Canada with such care and generosity,” says one grateful new mother, who recently received a Baby Bundle – a lovingly-assembled layette package filled with necessities for newborns, one of more than 300 put together and distributed each year by Moorelands volunteers.
Kay Atkinson is no longer here to help assemble the Baby Bundles, but Walter Atkinson has no trouble recalling the joy and pleasure his late wife took in the work.
“It all began at All Saints’ Kingsway,” Walter recalled in sharing Kay’s story with Moorelands. “Kay became the official coordinator for the Downtown Churchworkers,” as Moorelands’ predecessor was known. “It was her duty to collect the knit goods, money from the treasurer, shop for the non-knit items (frequently adding money from her own purse), put them all in a baby bathtub and deliver them.
“Our daughters,” Walter recalled, “remember that there was always a tub in the spare bedroom collecting the necessary contents. And I can remember Kay driving all over the city to find cloth diapers at a reasonable price.”
The work gave Kay more than personal satisfaction, Walter wrote, and as he himself later found out first-hand, she took especial joy in delivering the Baby Bundles to Moorelands.
“When I was retired and could help with this I soon learned that this was not just a delivery job,” he recalled. “I could see that she was so happy going into the office and talking with the ladies that had daily contact with the actual work and could tell her stories, many with happy endings.
“I am sure this made all the work more than worthwhile.”
And Walter is also certain of something else: Kay’s memory will live on in the smiles that repeat themselves a hundred times over each day a Baby Bundle is delivered to a new mom in Toronto.