Long-time BWWG employee Sharon Rasker is an energetic member of her local community, always willing to step up for a good cause.
So it is no surprise that Sharon is a supporter of the Op Shop in the small township of Pambula that has raised over one million dollars for Imlay House (an Aged Care facility in the area). Sharon is a regular customer, but when she visited the shop in January 2013, she had no idea of the strange and unlikely tale that would unfold.
Sharon and Penny wearing the t-shirts they earned by participating in the Weekend to End Women's Cancer that raised over $1.8 million for cancer research. They walked 60km and proudly boasted that because of good training they had absolutely no blisters!
Browsing the shop, she found a nice little spoon, slightly damaged, but still delightful. Because of her work at BWWG Sharon knows good carving, so she bought the spoon for $3. This month, when Zina Burloiu arrived in BWWG as Artist-in Residence and even before Sharon had seen any of Zina’s spoons, Sharon told her about her find in the Op Shop. Zina said she would like to see it, so the next day when Zina arrived at the gallery, Sharon was waiting to show her. So excited she was almost shaking, she said, “Close your eyes Zina.” Sharon placed the spoon in her hands and stood back. Zina felt the length of the spoon, rotated it between her fingers, and said, “It feels like one of mine.” When she felt the small carving of a rooster at the top of the spoon, and her face lit up in a beautiful smile. “It is mine!” she exclaimed. She opened her eyes and confirmed what her hands had told her. Sharon could barely contain her glee. When Zina looked more closely at the spoon and said, “I can fix this damage”, Sharon’s delight was complete. Until she had picked up the spoon to bring it in to the gallery, she had not realized that the name carved on the handle, Zina, could one day mean so much….“I had no idea!” she laughed.
Zina has never been to Australia before, so how did one of her spoons end up in Pambula Op Shop? She thinks it may have been the one that she sold to an Australian lady in Holland in 2003. Perhaps the owner passed away and the family didn’t recognize the value of such a treasure, but at least it was given to a good cause in the shop. But what are the odds of someone like Sharon who works at BWWG buying it, and that Zina would be invited to be Artist-in-Residence here?
What a tale… this spoon has had a remarkable adventure, to travel so far and to end up in the hands of its maker in a moment of pure joyful reunion… all the way from Romania to Australia, just like Zina. There is another side to this story. Who could be more deserving than Sharon, who has supported so many charities for so long?
Pambula Op Shop is run by volunteers, some of whom have worked there since it was started in 1982. Why don’t you give them a call to confirm when they are open, and visit yourself to see what you might find: 02 6495 6595;