CBS woman donates 500 Barbies and antiques to troubled Royal Canadian Legion


Madonna Porter, 70, with her collectibles at her home in Conception Bay South on Saturday. (Heather Gillis / CBC)

There is a mine of antiques and collectibles in a modest building at the back of Madonna Porter’s Conception Bay South home.

The treasures of his personal museum include 500 Barbie dolls, countless teapots, porcelain plates, cameras and other collectibles.

There is an antique Zenith floor model radio hidden behind boxes of milk books, and even a photo of Queen Elizabeth during her 1978 visit to the province, seated with St. John’s mayor Dorothy Wyatt.

On Saturday, she donated everything to branch 1 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

“I have had many happy days in my life, but I can say that it is the happiest,” said Porter, who started collecting about 15 years ago.

Madonna Porter has been collecting for about 15 years. On Saturday, she donated 500 Barbie dolls, teapots and other items to the Royal Canadian Legion. (Heather Gillis / CBC)

Porter, 70, said she started collecting to help cancer survivors after her daughter died of cancer at the age of 43.

But now she is getting older and said that she was starting to get sick herself. The collection is too much for her to travel alone, and she doesn’t know how to use a computer to sell her valuables online.

So she decided to donate her collection.

She told the news that the Royal Canadian Legion branches in the province were having trouble keeping their doors open, so she called Branch 1 in St. John’s.

“And I said,” Oh my gosh, he probably won’t take me seriously, who has 500 Barbie dolls? “Said Porter.

A photo of Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the province in 1978. (Heather Gillis / CBC)

Executives from the Legion branch visited Porter the next day.

“I don’t think they knew what to say,” adding that she likes to see the expression on people’s faces when they see her collection for the first time.

Porter said an antique dealer estimates his collection to be worth around $ 250,000.

In the past, people approached Porter to buy some of her items, but she was not ready to sell.

“I wouldn’t give you the hair of a Barbie doll over there, right? Porter laughs.

A vintage floor model radio is hidden behind milk crates full of books in a shed on Madonna Porter’s property in Conception Bay South. (Heather Gillis / CBC)

Greg Grenning, President of Branch 1, says the donation will be of great help to the Legion.

“We are just fighting right now to keep our doors open,” he said.

Grenning said the Legion relies on rallies like weddings, dances and other social events to make money, which are now limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was a fantastic move, and all the money we can raise will go to our operations,” he said.

Grenning said they will also start an annual scholarship or scholarship in honor of Porter and his daughter.

But for now, members of the legion will spend their time carefully packing the Porter collection in boxes, numbering and detailing each piece.

Grenning said they would auction items on sites like eBay.

A Royal Canadian Legion volunteer carrying a collection box donated by Madonna Porter. They will auction off valuables on websites like eBay. (Heather Gillis / CBC)

“There are a lot of collectors who would love to have some of this stuff,” said Grenning.

“Whether we get $ 10,000 or $ 100,000, that’s all we don’t have right now. … whatever money we get, it is so appreciated, and [we] can’t thank her enough for what she does. ”

Although Porter finds it stressful to donate her collection, she said she was supposed to be.

“I prayed to God to bring someone to make my dream come true. ”

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