The Well’s ‘Muffin Lady’
For I was hungry and you gave me food… I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
By the Rev. Gregor Sneddon
“They call me the Muffin Lady but i would rather be one of four or five muffin ladies…”
So says Rosemary Watkins, faithful parishioner and choir member at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Ottawa, and beloved friend of the ladies at The Well/La Source (a diocesan community ministry for women and their children).
Born in 1930 in Surrey, England, Rosemary came to Canada at the age of eight and grew up in Winnipeg moving to Ottawa in 1975. Rosemary began volunteering at The Well in the early 90s.
“At that time,” says Rosemary, “Peggy Campbell made muffins and I saw just how much they were appreciated.” Rosemary began making 9 or 10 dozen a week in 1996, and eventually began making 4 or 5 dozen per day. When she made the muffins at home, she would get up at 5 a.m. every morning, baking her tasty muffins and wheeling them over to The Well in her shopping cart rain, snow or sunshine. She took a few weeks off when she had her knees replaced and underwent chemotherapy.
Although Rosemary chooses to remain quiet on the matter, she has reached out to those in need over the years and has had several women going through hard times live with her. “I had a job. It just seemed like the thing to do,” she explains. She says she is blessed by all the wonderful ladies at The Well and especially the cooks who are so helpful. She agreed to have this story written in the hope that it might inspire some other ladies to join her in her muffin ministry.
Rosemary is facing her third bout with cancer and although she says she is stable, she can’t be sure for how long. Even with her two new good knees, she says she is a little tired these days and needs to rest. She is appealing to other ladies who may wish to share the mantle of ‘muffin lady’ and come to The Well one or two afternoons per week and bake and share in this special ministry.
For those interested in helping in Rosemary’s Muffin Ministry contact The Well.