By Pamela Collins

For those of you who have visited the Repair Café at Port Union Community Centre, you will know what a talented and generous group of people they are. They volunteer their time, materials and skills at no cost to you.

I personally had a very heart-warming experience at the last Repair Café in December. While unpacking a pair of reindeer to put on my mantel for Christmas, I found to my dismay that the antlers on one of the reindeer had broken off.

These reindeer have sentimental value to our family so I was heartbroken. I used crazy glue, epoxy, alien tape – everything I could find that might seal the antlers back on, to no avail.

I dropped in to the Repair Cafe to have a blow dryer repaired and took the reindeer in as well to see if someone more skilled than I could take a shot at it. I took a number and waited patiently, chatting to other residents and watching others have their items repaired: a bicycle, jewelry, a pair of pants that needed hemming. You name it, they can do it.

When my number was called, I was taken to the table of a friendly gentleman named Alan (you know who you are) who took the blow dryer apart, meticulously cleaned it, soldered a loose wire and voila! The dryer worked perfectly.

I then hesitantly brought the reindeer out and placed it on the desk asking, “Is there any hope?”

Alan held the pieces together, turning it around to position the antlers correctly. He told me he was an engineer by trade and thought there must be a way to fix this. After ruminating for a while, he kindly asked if he could take it home and work on it.

We exchanged phone numbers and I returned dejectedly home. A few days later, I found this message on my phone: “Hello, this is Alan of the reindeer fame. I am happy to report that your reindeer has come through surgery quite well, although he may need some physiotherapy which I am sure you are able to provide.”

When I went to his home, here in the Centennial community, to take my cherished reindeer back for Christmas. Alan was busy repairing a radio for another “customer” as she sat waiting at the kitchen table.

Alan explained that he had actually done surgery, placing pins inside each antler and then painted up the scar. I was totally amazed as the wound was seamless! I thanked him profusely and he insisted on escorting me to my car, carrying the reindeer, wrapped and carefully placed in a basket to prevent further injury. He wished me Merry Christmas and told me, “Reindeer should last a few more years with some TLC.”

I returned home overwhelmed and tearful with joy over this act of kindness experienced in our very own community.

I thank you again, Alan, as I truly did have a Merry Christmas, thanks to you! I hope to see you at the next Repair Café on March 2nd with another faulty blow dryer!