Love letter to the community


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/08/2021 (652 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

What a surprise! Greeting me as I cruised around the north end of town was a 90-foot wire fence covered in green leaves, with a message spelled out in pink petals.

I tried to take photos as cars whizzed by at Arlington Street and College Avenue.

In three-foot letters, the message reads: “GOD BLESS U — YOU’RE AMAZING.”

Photo by Freda Glow Cherrie Augustin’s fence spells out a message to all of us: “God bless u — you’re amazing.”

It is plainly a love letter to the community — a thank you to all of us who have hunkered down and isolated, masked-up and vaccinated twice. We were protecting ourselves but, more importantly, we were shielding our children, relatives, friends and neighbours from the vile virus.

Cherrie Augustin worked tirelessly to create the message. She even took advice from several nuns passing by. She said she had struggled to find just the right words. 

“I want to make people smile,” she said.

Working on this — her latest project — brought lots of feedback from local residents.

Cars often honked as they zipped by. Augustin chose to conduct her labour of love in the early evenings until late.

What keeps her busy now is “patching up” due to the wear and tear. But the display did survive our Winnipeg winter.

A creative spirit, Augustin confessed that she likes to visualize things.

“I  plan what I want it to look like, before I do it,” she said.

The youthful mother of five daughters, who is now a grandmother to a toddler, says she began to decorate last July, when she was laid off from her job as a bookkeeper.             

She had a yen to keep busy and began to cover the fences around her property with leaves and an assortment of colourful patterns. At times, the effort became a family project. Her flower gardens are a riot of red, yellow and white plastic blooms.

Invited inside, I noticed that leaves and petals also adorn the walls of the front entrance. 

“It’s like a Christmas house,” she admitted and laughed.

Augustin and her husband, who were both born in the Philippines, have also created a back patio with comfortable seating and a sunshade sail.

“We watch movies outside with a projector,” she said. “We’ve always wanted a place for all of us to hang out.”

Living together, the large, happy family enjoys their mother’s creativity and resourcefulness.

When a car crashed through the front yard of their home a few years back, this started an ongoing renovation.

Living on a corner, the family seeks more privacy.

“People used to throw their garbage into our yard,” she said. 

That’s when the idea of beautifying started. Augustin is a woman handy with a hammer. 

I wonder what her next project will be?

Freda Glow is a community correspondent for the North End.

Freda Glow

Freda Glow
North End community correspondent

Freda Glow is a community correspondent for the North End.

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