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During the Covid-19 pandemic when George Hospital, like Mediclinic George, was at the epicentre of the battle to save lives, the help extended by the Masketeers of Groenkloof Retirement Village proved to be crucial. In the early days the Masketeers, and later other volunteers who followed suit, took one worry off the minds of the hospital management: getting a mask on the face of every patient and staff member.

Spurred on by a call for help by the hospital that was inundated at the time, Groenkloof resident Cheryll van Zyl spread the news among residents who could to sew or knit. Soon the needles were clicking and sewing machines buzzing. The women managed to sew 6 074 cloth masks that they donated to the hospital. They also made 187 hospital gowns, 14 hospital pants and 11 hospital scrubs as protective gear for the staff. The list of their donations also includes 12 knee rugs, 36 bibs, 72 caps, 113 baby blankets, 85 baby vests, 339 pairs of booties, 584 baby beanies, 48 baby jerseys, 89 octopus toys, 59 teddy bears, 24 soft toys, and 32 bags for mothers.

Funding raised by the Masketeers covered the costs. As a gesture of gratitude, the George Hospital Trust on Tuesday 14 March treated the 33 knitters and sewers to a lovely high tea at the new Groenkloof Restaurant. It was a fun morning with ladies wearing themed hats portraying their task of making the masks.

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