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Burlington's Malcolm Foster enjoys life with a great-great grandchild

Front row: Brandon Norman holding four-month-old Cameron Norman. Back row: Cathy Norman, Malcolm Foster and Janet Sacrey
Front row: Brandon Norman holding four-month-old Cameron Norman. Back row: Cathy Norman, Malcolm Foster and Janet Sacrey - Submitted

Five generations make for unique family photo

BURLINGTON, NL - It has been said a single picture paints a thousand words.

A family photo taken in September captures an image of five generations of Malcolm Foster's family.

Nine decades separate the oldest from the youngest.

The picture is of 90-year-old Foster with his daughter Janet Sacrey, Janet's daughter Cathy Norman, Cathy's son Brandon Norman, and Brandon's baby Cameron Norman.

Foster still lives in his own home in Burlington. Catching up with him for a phone interview isn't easy. If he's not in church, he's out cutting an armload of wood or checking his snares.

"I got a rabbit today and I got a grouse yesterday. I got 40 rabbits last year... and I got my moose. If I was alongside you, I'd give you a meal of moose," the friendly senior said when contacted by phone last week.

Foster's memory is as sharp as the new chainsaw he bought from money his family gave him for his 90th birthday.

He recalled how, as a young man, he worked for $32 a week. His wife Vera, who is now deceased, also worked when she could to help bring in money, he said.

"There was no money back then, but we done it. We was never hungry."

 

Malcolm Foster holding his four-month-old great-great grandson, Cameron Norman.
Malcolm Foster holding his four-month-old great-great grandson, Cameron Norman.

 

Foster's memory takes him back further in time to his own childhood. His mother died when he was nine years old, he said.

"I had five brothers and one sister. We stayed with father, the two of us. The rest were grown up," he said.

When asked about the recipe for a long and happy life, Foster talked about hard work and rough grub.

"I used to eat 20 buns (of homemade bread) a week when I was at the logs. My wife used to make it. I was satisfied with that alone. Good stuff. We'd buy flour by the sack. You don't see that now."

Staying active is also important, he said.

"I was out this morning to a men's social (at the Pentecostal church). We had a big breakfast ... and baked beans."

Family tree

Foster's daughter, Janet Sacrey, lives in Pacquet.

Her daughter Cathy Norman, grandson Brandon Norman and great-grandson Cameron Norman live in Ontario but came to Newfoundland in September to capture the five generations photo and to spend time with family.

"The family tree is everything to us," Sacrey said.

"The love of a family is like none other.

"And Dad wanted to get the picture because he'll be 91 in April and you don't get this opportunity very often," she added.

One of six children, Sacrey said her parents were hardworking people who put their family first.

"They made sure we had food to eat and everything else we needed in life. We never got all that we wanted but we got what we needed," she said.

Sacrey's childhood memories include watching her mother make clothes and perm people's hair. Her mother sold Avon and did whatever she could to bring in a few dollars.

"And Dad was a miner and a logger, and he worked with (the department of) highways for 25 years. I remember him taking us for a ride in his motorboat across the harbour. That was just as exciting for me as kids are when they are getting ready to go to Florida now," she said.

Foster is proud of his family and enjoys spending time with them.

"I was happy. It's a lot of generations," he said of the five generations photo.

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