Gail Bones gives 88-year-old Duke Chu a free haircut at the Mustard Seed.

Gail Bones gives 88-year-old Duke Chu a free haircut at the Mustard Seed.

Brentwood Bay resident provides free haircuts at the Mustard Seed

Tucked away in the corner of the Mustard Seed between the clothing drive and the shelves full of books is a small brown door.

Tucked away in the corner of the Mustard Seed between the clothing drive and the shelves full of books is a small brown door with a small label that says “Gail’s Locker.”

Sliding that door aside, it looks like a mini barber shop.

There are containers of equipment, a giant mirror, a hand-carved barber shop sign, flowers and a hairdresser chair.

This is the space that Gail Bones, a Brentwood Bay resident, calls home three days of the week.

For the past nine years, Bones has been volunteering her time providing free haircuts to people at the Mustard Seed.

“I try to listen to what people want because in a community where so much of people’s lives are out of their control, they feel powerless,” said Bones, who is also the chaplain. “Hair is a small thing, but it’s controllable. I really want people to believe that when they sit in that chair, they’re the most important person.”

Her career as an informal hairdresser began 16 years ago when Bones gave up her job as a fitness instructor after an injury.

She began dropping off clothes and runners to Open Door and Upper Roof (currently Our Place) and little by little, people kept asking her to stay and help out.

“I didn’t fall in love with the work, I feel in love with the people,” said Bones, adding she has had the opportunity to get to know hundreds of people, who have opened up and shared their life stories with her.

One day, she was serving lunch at Upper Roof when a person asked her to pray for him to get a rooming house appointment. He was afraid his appearance would cost him the apartment because he didn’t have money for a barber.

Bones, who had given haircuts to her children and husband, offered to cut his hair. A few days later, the man got the place and asked her to cut his friend’s hair.

Since then, Bones has done roughly 8,600 haircuts — generally 20 to 25 people a day.

“I’m doing this because of utter gratitude for all that Jesus Christ has restored and given me,” she said.

Fifty-eight-year-old Pattie Robertson has been coming to Bones for the past three years to get her hair cut.

“It makes me feel wonderful, like I’m a new person,” she said. “It’s nice to do something for yourself sometimes.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrested a 42-year-old man April 11 following numerous reports of someone firing a rifle in a Malahat campground. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP arrest man after shots fired at Malahat campground

Police received numerous reports of a man firing a rifle outside his camper trailer

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
Pacheedaht Nation says activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Pacheedaht is concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Driver who crashed into Uptown Walmart likely suffering mental health crisis, police say

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. and Victoria’s overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Additional COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School. (Google Streetview)
Additional COVID-19 exposures reported at two Saanich schools

New dates of exposure added to Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company co-owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Aside from Desi Liu, Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines, a provincial court judge decided March 4

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

The Campbell River Gun Club outdoor range is located on Argonaut Road west of Campbell River. CRGC/Facebook photo
Campbell River Gun Club range shut down after complaints of stray bullets

Neighbour says bullets hit caretaker’s RV and shattered a glass panel on his deck

Most Read