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Reid's run Yellowknife flea market for 30 years

Cara Loverock
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Yellowknife's flea market is often packed with secondhand goods and people looking for a bargain.

All this chaos is overseen by one person, Therese Reid. For 30 years, Reid has been running the flea market at St. Patrick's parish.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Therese Reid stands by the many Halloween costumes and clothing for sale at the flea market. - Cara Loverock/ NNSL Photo

"I work in here everyday," said Reid, adding, "I love it. I meet lots of people."

Last weekend, the flea market was packed with people looking for Halloween costumes and browsing the various other goods that fill the hall from wall to wall, including clothes, books, dishes, appliances and even wedding dresses.

"It takes just about the whole week," said Reid of how long it takes to go through the donations the market receives weekly, usually arriving in large garbage bags. Everything donated has to be sorted through and, if in good condition, ticketed and put in the right place.

Born in Quebec, Reid grew up in Cochrane, Ont., and came to Yellowknife 42 years ago.

Originally she ran the flea market with a fellow employee for the first five years, but has been the main person running the flea market for the past 25 years.

"More and more it's grown," said Reid.

The flea market used to open only twice a month. It now opens every Tuesday through Saturday morning and into the afternoon.

Reid used to hold another job at night as a cleaner, but when it came time to choose between running the flea market and her second job, she said, "I chose to work at the flea market."

Some strange things have happened at the flea market. Reid recalled an incident a few years ago when a man who appeared to be intoxicated came in, went into the bathroom and came back out naked.

Reid didn't call the RCMP. Instead, "I just gave him clothes and told him to get."

Despite the occasional naked patron and frustrations such as people trying to bargain down the already cheap prices, Reid says she enjoys the managing the flea market, especially the social aspect of it.

"I recognize lots of people (in town) and they know me too," she said. "I don't know them by name, but I know their face," said Reid.