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  • Writer's pictureNeil Allen

Close Encounters of a Nativity Kind

As Webmaster for FOTC, I feel privileged to speak/connect with your emails and phone calls. Recently, one of those contacts was from Victoria Canada, a wonderfully beautiful tourist area on the west coast. My role was to assist a new member to connect with one of our existing members there. Her name is Gerlidine “Diny” Wolters. If her name is familiar, you may have seen some of her nativities featured in the Creche Herald, or in a recent blog.


What “Diny” didn’t know was how Nora and I were thinking about a visit there to celebrate a wedding anniversary. Long story shortened – we made that connection in person just a few days ago. I was a great blessing.


Important take away – if you are visiting somewhere – check to see if there are collectors nearby. It might be worth the time to make a friend of the Creche a bit deeper than our conventions and meetings.



Just 5.8 miles down the road from the Empress Hotel we connected with the Dutch native who married the love of her life and moved to this beautiful place.

Flowing through her home was a uniquely wonderful collection which she shares with friends from her local church, her years as a primary school teacher, and her neighbors. It was a real treasure asking her about some of her sets

She filled me in on a set just like the one I owned from Japan. These Kokeshi dolls are always a display favorite.

Diny's needle work spans many forms, and she is VERY good too! This "simple" set is part of her attempt to connect with children, and is a collaboration with a local shop teacher. Using her skills she makes beautiful cards and teddy bears. Her attention to details is a true gift.

One of her sets even had a figure that looked very much like her – of course it was from her homeland and complete with head wrapping and wooden shoes. As you can see here, she was glowing when she spoke of her heritage.

Like many of us, our collections have to pack into tighter spaces, so this set from Austria is flanked by sets from Ukraine and South America.

This little book was published in Australia in the 1960's. As with the rest of our visit, it was a huge honor to study Diny's nativity paradise. I pray it continues to touch others for many years to come.


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