Lillie Stewart has been knitting socks for six decades, but her most recent pair may be the most special. The 92-year-old has outfitted many people in her home town of Truro, N.S., and the country.
“Our dentist would get one, and the doctor would get one, and the doctor's wife would get a pair,” says Stewart.
Stewart says she and her husband Jarvis are big supporters of the Liberal Party. She once sent Prime Minister Jean Chretien socks when he was in power and she even keeps MP Bill Casey's feet warm – which is how a pair of her socks walked their way into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office.
“I said to him, when I gave him the socks, ‘I would like for you to get a picture of you presenting these to Justin Trudeau for me,’” says Stewart.
Casey made good on his promise.
“It was just before Question Period and I said ‘I've got a pair of socks from a teenager in my riding who knit them for you, I'd like to give them to you after Question Period.’ He said, ‘no, no, come up to my office, I like socks,’” recalls Casey.
Stewart says she was only expecting a 4x6 photo, but Casey did better than that, bringing her a framed 8x10 from Ottawa.
“Before he got here I got a thank you in the mail from Justin Trudeau and Bill Casey didn't even know about that,” says Stewart.
The handwritten letter reads:
“Dear Lillie, thank you so much for knitting those lovely socks for me. I look forward to wearing them with great pride. All my very best, Justin Trudeau.”
The Second World War veteran says she's grateful Trudeau thought enough of the socks to write her.
This isn't the first encounter Stewart has had with a Trudeau. She once met Pierre Trudeau at a meeting in Ottawa.
“He came to every table to speak and shake hands with us and, of course, I stood up and I said, ‘may I kiss you sir’ and he say ‘why not,’” laughs Stewart.
Stewart's husband Jarvis says, while he has worn many of his wife's socks over their nearly 69 years of marriage, he thinks running for office may put him at the top of the list.
The socks that Stewart is currently working on will be delivered to another politician, her nephew, the mayor of Colchester County.
Stewart says once she’s done those socks, she might start knitting a pair for the prime minister’s wife Sophie.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Suzette Belliveau