Great Scot 2001: I may be 72 but I'll climb Everest for charity; TO CROCS AND WILD ELEPHANT. NOW SHE'S FOUND A BIGGER CHALLENGE.Byline: DONNA WHITE
SOMEONE once told Margaret Wight she should retire gracefully with a knitting pattern knitting pattern n → patrón m para tricotar
knitting pattern n → modèle m (pour tricot)
knitting pattern knit n and wool.
But the 72-year-old granny has never heeded such advice. Margaret prefers to spend her time raising thousands of pounds for charity.
She's not content with running bring- and-buy sales and raffles, though. Instead, Margaret has raised cash through a series of wild adventures, including:
White water rafting down the Zambezi;
Rescuing fellow volunteers from the jaws of crocodiles;
Staring down a charging elephant in the bush of Zimbabwe.
Now Margaret is planning her biggest challenge yet - an expedition to Everest.
Margaret laughs: "I'm not one for staying at home and watching the telly, that's for sure. I like to be active. But if you'd told me a few years ago the kind of scrapes I'd be getting myself into, I wouldn't have believed it."
Which is why Margaret has been nominated for a Great Scot Award by fellow charity volunteer Barbara Lee Barbara Jean Lee (born July 16 1946), American politician, has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1998, representing California's 9th congressional district (map) and is the first woman to represent that district. .
"They say life begins at 40," says Barbara, "but Margaret's must have begun at 60, when she retired."
In February last year, Margaret joined volunteers for the charity Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases (Climb) on a sponsored trek through Zimbabwe and raised pounds 4333.
She now hopes to match that amount on the expedition to the base camp of Everest in October.
It will be an even bigger challenge than her past adventures - she's terrified ter·ri·fy
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.
2. To menace or threaten; intimidate. of heights and will have to cross rickety rick·et·y
adj. rick·et·i·er, rick·et·i·est
1. Likely to break or fall apart; shaky.
2. Feeble with age; infirm.
3. Of, having, or resembling rickets. suspension bridges across deep gorges.
"I've been told they're quite safe, but that still won't stop me shutting my eyes on the way across," says Margaret, from Elphinstone, East Lothian East Lothian (lō`thēən), council area (1993 est. pop. 85,640), 262 sq mi (677 sq km), and former county, SE Scotland. Under the Local Government Act of 1973, the county of East Lothian became (1975) part of the new Lothian region, .
Margaret, a widow with two children and three grandchildren, retired 12 years ago from the bakery where she was manageress n. 1. A woman manager.
Noun 1. manageress - a woman manager
director, manager, managing director - someone who controls resources and expenditures
manageress n → directora;
( . But while her family assumed she might welcome the opportunity to take things easy, she threw herself into voluntary work.
She began by working in the shop at Edinburgh's Simpson Maternity Hospital one afternoon a week, and later became a part-time receptionist for the Children's Hospice A children's hospice is a hospice specifically designed to help children who will not live to reach adulthood with the emotional and physical challenges they face, and also to provide respite care for their families. Association Scotland.
It was here she met Barbara, 65, and Nancy Blake, co-founder of CHAS and the Scottish branch of Climb.
Margaret explains: "Nancy's son Daniel has a metabolic disease, and that's how we all became involved.
"Climb has its headquarters in England, but Nancy decided to set up a Scottish branch at her home in Edinburgh. Barbara and I helped out." When Climb's in-house magazine appealed for people to go on a sponsored trek around Zimbabwe, Barbara and Nancy suggested keen rambler ram·bler
1. One that rambles: tourists and Sunday ramblers on the village streets; a conversational rambler.
2. A type of climbing rose having numerous red, pink, or white flowers. Margaret should take part.
Her friends helped her raise more than pounds 4000 sponsorship, while Margaret trained at her local gym for months to prepare for the gruelling trip.
She laughs: "I got some funny looks down my gym, especially from the young bodybuilders. I could tell they were thinking, 'What is that granny doing in here?'"
But 'that granny' more than held her own on the trek last year, when she joined others aged between 20 and 50 on safari On Safari was a children's game show series set in the jungle that was produced by Television South, and aired on the ITV network for 4 seasons from 1982 until 1985. through rough bushland.
They camped on the banks of the Zambezi, before whitewater canoeing through waters infested in·fest
tr.v. in·fest·ed, in·fest·ing, in·fests
1. To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious: with crocodiles and hippos.
Margaret recalls: "At one point, two of the women in our group hit some rocks and fell into the water. My canoe was the closest to them, so I had to go and pull them ashore. They were terrified and, quite frankly, so was I.
"We hadn't seen any crocodiles, but we saw plenty of hippos - and they kill more people than crocs Crocs Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) is an American company founded by Lyndon "Duke" Hanson, Scott Seamans, and George Boedecker in July 2002. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the firm was created to market a lightweight plastic shoe first developed and manufactured by Foam do."
On another occasion, the group had just climbed into a Land Rover See LANRover. after a walk through the bush, when they were charged by a bull elephant. "It had huge staring eyes and was quite a sight, running straight for us. Luckily, our driver put his foot down and we got away," says Margaret.
Thankfully, she expects the mosquitoes will be the only wildlife she'll meet on this year's two-week trip, taking her from Kathmandu to the base camp of Everest and back - a trek of almost 150 miles across difficult terrain.
As usual, Margaret is keeping herself busy to prepare herself for the rigours ahead.
She has volunteered as a guide for East Lothian Visually Impaired Ramblers Group, on top of her own activities with Musselburgh Ramblers Group.
And she's also a member of the British Trust Conservation Volunteers, spending weekends drystane dyking, planting trees and doing other essential work in the countryside.
And, of course, she'll be back pounding the treadmill at her local gym.
She rarely gets to meet the children who benefit from her work. She is simply happy in the knowledge she is helping fund research and support families who need it most.
"I'm really nothing special, you know," she says. "I've met so many volunteers who do wonderful work.
"My family think I'm mad, a real eccentric. But as long as I've got my health, I'm going to continue. After all, you never know what's round the corner."
To sponsor Margaret on her Everest trip, call 01875 612443.
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You can also join us at the glittering awards ceremony, hosted by TV newsgirl news·girl
A girl who sells or delivers newspapers. Kirsty Wark Kirsty Anne Wark (born 3 February, 1955, in Dumfries) is a Scottish journalist and television presenter best known for fronting the BBC Two's news and current affairs programme Newsnight and its weekly arts annexe Newsnight Review. . The awards, sponsored by Lloyds TSB Scotland, will be held at Glasgow's Science Centre on September 15. Each winner will be given cash to give to charities of their choice. The event will raise money for charities all over Scotland.
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