The value of a penny

Greater Victoria senior remembers the importance of a penny

Don Clarke

Don’t tell Don Clarke a penny can’t make a difference.

The 94-year-old Langford resident, who grew up during the Great Depression, recalls every penny making a huge difference to him.

“For one cent you could get five to six pieces of candy,” said the resident of the Alexander Mackie Lodge. “For a nickel you could buy a bag of candy you could hardly carry out the door.”

Having lived through “the Dirty 30s” where a multi-course meal could be had for a dime, he still appreciates the value of a penny today.

Clarke remembers shoveling a quarter-mile long driveway for 10 cents, before accidently dropping his dime into the cracks of a wooden walkway and losing hours of his hard work for nothing.

“Most people (today) don’t know what a penny is,” he said. “They think it’s something to spend. We thought it was something to save.”

For years Clarke “rode the rods” sneaking onto the tops of trains and lived from meal to meal in search of his next penny knows the feeling of having nothing.

“Those that have experienced tough times like myself (understand),” he said. “People who have been through it know what it is like to be without.”

These days, dropping a penny or a dime might not be worth the effort of picking up – but it could make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.

Black Press’ 15th annual Pennies for Presents is an opportunity for those with a little extra jingle in their pockets during the holiday season to drop off their change in support of those without. Whether the need is food, services or support, the need continues to be great.

Continuing on through Christmas Day, all money collected in the coin drive goes to the Mary Manning Centre, Threshold Housing Society, Victoria READ Society, the Young Parents Support Network and suicide prevention group, NEED2. The initiative collected more than $12,000 in Greater Victoria last year and more than $600,000 since its inception.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria Police seize drugs, replica firearms and $50,000 in cash after searching Victoria home

A property in the 600-block of Manchester Avenue is focus of investigation

Saanich resident leads crusade against cigarettes in B.C. drugstores

Province allows drugstores to sell cigarettes and some feel policy should change, retailers disagree

Saanich councillor fears weed could crowd out food as greenhouses convert

Head of provincial association representing greenhouse vegetable farmers not worried about issue

Federal government funds 60 ‘micro-loft’ rental units set to open on Fort Street

The Sawyer Block at 840 Fort St. will house affordable units and a small amount of retail space

PHOTOS: India Mela celebrates culture, dance and food

The annual downtown event brought culture and fun together

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Vancouver Island senior found safe with help from six search and rescue teams

Wayne Strilesky found safe in thick brush in north Nanaimo

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Margaret Atwood talks Handmaid’s Tale sequel at UVic

Sold-out Sept. 27 event illustrates iconic Canadian author’s popularity in literary haven of Victoria

Hearings begin as Vancouver Island mom fights for allegedly abducted daughter

Tasha Brown now in Jersey in the British Isles, fundraiser being held in Nanaimo

Most Read