Folding into new hobbies

Colin MacLean
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SUMMERSIDE – Alex Davies loves chess.

He loves chess so much that he’s taught the game to kids all over the world, he coaches the Summerside Chess Club and he can be found weekly at the Summerside Farmers Market, ready to challenge all comers.

But if all that wasn’t enough, he’s starting two more clubs for local kids.

One is (naturally) a chess club – but the other is a little more exotic.

Davies, a teacher who’s spent most of his career abroad, also has a love of the art of Japanese paper folding, or origami.

He’s hoping to get some local kids interested in both origami and chess by inviting them to learn both at the Summerside Rotary Library, the first Saturday of every month at 1 p.m.

“Origami grabs the kids way more than chess does, you flap the wings of a paper crane and kids walking by just flock to the table,” said Davies.

He added that in his experience the origami helps keep interested in the chess.

If they start to lose focus on the game, they can take a break and learn some folding patterns, he suggested.

He first got interested in origami while he was in grade school and a classmate made a paper crane for show-and-tell.

It fascinated him, so he picked it up and has been practicing ever since.

“It’s fun,” he said.

“It keeps me focused and my mind sharp, like chess.”

 Mallory McKinney, literacy and public services librarian with the library, said she’d like to see lots families come out to take Davies up on his free lessons.

Anything that gets more people into the library is a good thing, said McKinney.

“We’re really excited about it because they’re two entirely different things, but they both take a certain level of skill we don’t necessarily offer in a lot of our other programs,” she said.

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

@JournalPMacLean

Organizations: Summerside Chess Club, Summerside Rotary Library

Geographic location: Summerside

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