Nancy Charney-Mayers has a special story to tell about a unique bracelet that has been passed down through her family for generations. The bracelet, made from coins collected by her father-in-law during his time in World War Two, has become a priceless family heirloom and symbol of resilience in the face of adversity.
The bracelet was made by Nancy's father-in-law while he was stationed in the Netherlands as a messenger for the troops. Looking for a distraction from the war, he started punching holes in the Holland coins he had in his pocket and used wire to fashion a bracelet. He then made a little card with the return address back in Canada and kept the bracelet safe until he could send it home.
"He knew that if he wrapped it with this little card in a piece of cloth and put it in his pocket, that three things would happen. Either it would be found and it would be sent home, or he would get to a place where he would be able to mail it, or that he would be able to deliver it himself when he returned home," Nancy explained.
Years later, when her father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, he gave the bracelet to Nancy. "He said to me, 'I have something special for you,' and in his hand was this bracelet that he had kept all those years, and he had a little tear in his eye," Nancy recalled.
After the war, he stayed behind and worked as an interpreter at the concentration camps.
As a tribute to Nancy's story, GNM Fine Jewellers has awarded her a bracelet. Nancy's father-in-law's bracelet will continue to be cherished by her family as a symbol of hope and perseverance in even the darkest of times.
With files from Michelle Sawatzky and Carly Koop