The oversized 5,000-piece underwater marine life seascape on display at Missionwood Retirement Resort in Kelowna is not just a regular jigsaw puzzle. It’s a community unifier.
“The residents here like to do lots of activities. There’s always something going on,” said marketing director of the Missionwood Retirement Resort, Corinne Ginther. “This one, they came up with on their own and they worked really hard getting it done. They really enjoy it and it just brings such a nice sense of community when they get together.”
Man assembles 18,000 piece jigsaw puzzle
Several key puzzle aficionados were responsible for putting most of the pieces together. However, many of the residents and their visitors assisted.
“A lot of the relatives and friends, they bring all their children, and some of the children are better than we are,” said resident, Pearl MacKenzie. “They can pick out the pieces.”
Bill Stunell, one of the main puzzle-makers responsible for finishing the project, had never seen a puzzle this size.
“One of the ladies in here came to us and said she had just received a 5,000-piece puzzle and I couldn’t believe it. I said it couldn’t be that big. I don’t think they make it that big,” Stunell said. “It was such a beautiful puzzle that I thought we’d go ahead and make it. I think the finished product speaks for itself.”
The retirement centre has been receiving jigsaw puzzles from the community regularly.
“We get lots of puzzles donated to Missionwood,” Ginther said. “People come in and bring puzzles to us all the time so the residents are quite happy to receive them.”
The project was a great way for the residents to pass the time and feel challenged.
“Keeps you busy,” Stunell said. “Every day, you have something on your plate instead of sitting around and doing nothing.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. There were some difficulties completing the puzzle, including a missing piece.
“This piece right here. That was missing,” Stunell said. “So I just put in some play-doh —; forced it in there and then I just took some shavings from a pencil sharpener. I just spread it over to make it the same colour as the turtle.”
The residents would love to see the puzzle framed and put up on the wall as a memory. Anyone who can assist with the endeavor is asked to get in touch with Missionwood Retirement Resort.
“It would be nice,” Stunell said. “It would replace some of the artwork we’ve got around here.”