75 years, a family legacy: Hillside Girls Club marking diamond anniversary

Community Featured

A local community club will be celebrating a landmark milestone this week after 75 years of operation in Pictou County.

Hillside Girls Club has been running for nearly a century purely by word of mouth through the community, providing a place for girls to learn to sew and make crafts.

Along with the many girls and leaders who have spent many Monday evenings at club, the Murphy family has been a staple every week that has helped keep the non-profit group going.

Ellen Murphy has been attending to help at Girls Club since the early 50s. Not only did she help out but, through the years, she has brought her daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters with her.

“We were always excited to go to club, wondering what you were going to make,” said Tara Murphy, Ellen’s granddaughter, who has been attending since she was five year old and now takes her own daughter. “I went right from five to 40 basically,” she laughed.

Volunteering and helping run the club, along with Sandra Hattie, is something that runs in the family for the Murphys, something they couldn’t really imagine not doing. Over the years, the crafts and Monday nights spent together teaching girls have helped keep the family close with one another.

“They’ll be the ones keeping it going for the next 75,” smiled Ellen, gesturing to her family. Tara added that even before she reached the five-year-old age requirements, her daughter was excited to go to club and make crafts.

Seeing the kids grow up and turn into moms and bring their own kids back to club over the years has been something each of the women enjoys seeing as they continue to volunteer their time.

“You just wonder what kind of effect you have on their day,” said Lori, one of Ellen’s daughters. “Seventy-five years, you think about all the changes, and this is still the same.”

Back left, Sylvia Cosh, Lori Murphy. Front left, Tara Murphy and Ellen Murphy. Nearly every year since the 1950s, Ellen Murphy and her daughters Sylvia, Lori and the late Fay Murphy, along with her granddaughter Tara, have been helping run the Hillside Girls Club along with Sandra Hattie. The club, only promoted by word of mouth, is marking its 75th anniversary July 22 with an event running from 1 to 6 p.m. at the North End Recreation Centre in New Glasgow. (Brimicombe photo)