Having bypassed seventy, Lorraine DuFeu can’t abide her hard won knowledge and experience being lost. That is where Eyebright, with comes in. She has guided Annette and Therese in creating the Eyebright Wool Shed.
Lorraine was born in Nelson. Cast your mind back to the 60’s if you are of my vintage, or take my word for it. It was normal and cool to get married young. Not that Lorraine was worried about being cool. She just knew what she wanted, so at seventeen she walked out the gates at Nelson College for Girls and got married. She wanted to have children early, so she still had plenty of life after children.
Lorraine’s husband was an engineer with a taste for fast boats. Lorraine was the secretary of the Lake Rotoiti Power Boat Club. She was also involved with the Nelson United Soccer Club for many years. While the kids were young she cleaned schools in the evening, and when they were old enough not to need mum at home, she supervised up to 49 cooking and cleaning staff at Braemar psychiatric hospital. Braemar shut down in 1990, and a year later Lorraine went into business with another ex Braemar employee. They opened a shop at Founders which they called Finistere selling woodwork and knit ware. It lasted a year. Lorraine then opened a small shop at Craft Habitat (current site of Raeward Fresh). There was already a large shop at Craft Habitat selling woven garments. A year later Lorraine took over the larger shop, and ran it single handed for eleven years. Those were the years when Craft Habitat was the number one tourist destination in Nelson. The years before 9/11 and when the main road went right past its gate.
After Craft Habitat, Lorraine taught spinning and knitting and worked at Cruellas when it was at The Grape Escape.
Lorraine is still teaching, and for eight years she has been selling her knitted garments at the Nelson Market and at special events such as when cruise ships visit Picton. Now she is in the Eyebright fold. We couldn’t ask for a better guiding hand.
May 01, 2015 • Peter Owen