A local contractor has managed to find a “generous solution” to a problem, which has resulted in putting a smile on the faces of local youngsters and others who have benefitted from his gesture.
Philip Gemme, of Gem Electrical Solutions of Kamsack, had come into possession of a large number of unpainted ceramic pieces several years ago, and decided now was the time to part with the entire collection.
“A few years ago, my son, his new wife, I and a friend took a trip back to my home town of Timmins Ontario, to introduce to my parents their new granddaughter-in-law,” he said. “While we were there, my father showed us all the ceramics that he had purchased at a garage sale. When asked if he would spare a few pieces for us to take back home to Saskatchewan, he readily agreed, on the condition that we take it all.”
Gemme was hauling a trailer to pick up a motorbike, and the boxes of ceramics fit in as well, so the group brought all of it to Kamsack.
Once here, the ceramic pieces were unpacked, photographed, catalogued and repacked, for use and possible resale of extra pieces in a yard/garage sale.
“Last spring Allen Bennett graciously allowed us to use the basement of the old Elk's Lodge, what is now the Sugar Shack (home to Allen's maple syrup venture), to display all of the ceramics,” Gemme said.
“There did not seem to be much interest from people in purchasing unfinished ceramics, but the children that came in with their parents really wanted some and since I had quite a bit I just gave pieces to the children.
“Allen now has plans for the building and needed the space which the ceramics occupied, so I had to find a solution,” he continued. “After hauling these items 2,000 miles, and after all the work to catalogue and set up for the sale, I did not relish the thought of handling them again. This is where the idea to just donate all of them came about. I decided that after seeing the smiles on the children's faces that they should be the recipients.”
Gemme posted an ad on Kijiji, and contacted numerous schools in the surrounding areas to let them know about his desire to donate the ceramics for use by local children.
“I did receive some responses but not nearly enough so I posted an ad on Facebook and it just exploded,” he said. “There were suggestions made that maybe others could benefit as well, such as seniors and other organisations. They became included in the groups, but also parents could bring their children by to pick out what they would like. It did not take long before most of the items made their way out the door to new homes.
“I received a lot of compliments for doing this but the heroes here are all of the teachers and group volunteers who gave of their time to come out and pick through the numerous items to get what they would like, and that was fun. Then the work began, with packing up, hauling, unpacking and distributing amongst their respective groups.
“To all of you who came out, I extend a big thank you for turning what would have been an arduous task into a most pleasant experience,” he mused. “It would be really nice to see some of the artists with their completed pieces. If people would like, they can post these photos to my business page, Gem Electrical Solutions, on Facebook,” he concluded.