Posted by: cherylyoung | July 28, 2013

The end of a love story. of a loving people from Sidney B.C who reached out to their Canadian neighbours to help them start their recovery

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Canadians Helping Canadians

On Friday November 1st 2013, I arrived in Lac- Mégantic, Quebec, Canada. The population of this little town is approximately 6,000 and is a 2 1/2 hour journey from Quebec.

On July 16th 2013, the town suffered devastation when a tanker train exploded. Forty-seven people perished and two more were never found. The purpose of my visit was to deliver a check for $3,027 that was raised from a fundraiser I organized early in September.

Travelling with me was my stepdaughter-in- law, Lucie who is French Canadian and lives in Quebec; she was with me to translate as very few people there speak English. As we approached the little town we stopped for directions to the Recreation Centre.  When I got out of the car, there was still the smell of burning in the air. This was some 18 weeks after the event.

As we drove down the main street towards the town, we came across a beautiful church which was very prominent in the TV coverage of the disaster. I remember seeing it, along with people running and shouting and in the background the flames from the burning liquid rising high in the sky.

The down town area is completely cordoned off and new construction is taking place. All around were large mounds of black soil and on the corner was a lone rail tanker which was serving as a memorial. It had French words sprayed all over it; I was told that the words were a mix of grief and anger.

We made our way to the Recreation Centre where I was to meet with the Mayor. However, when we arrived we were met by the Deputy Mayor who told us that Mayor Collette had been called away but sent her sincere regrets.

In other areas of Quebec it was election time, but in Lac Mégantic it was decreed that they would not have an election for another 2 years because of the disaster.

We were taken to the meeting area where I presented the check and a gift of framed Sidney prints from our town to theirs. I explained how the people of Sidney had raised the money; for a few moments we all stood silent with tears in our eyes.

An additional gift was a video clip that contained greetings from our townsfolk and the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department. Chris Creighton-Kelly and his wife France provided the translation and The Sidney Meet Up – Women in Business, made the video possible.

The Deputy Mayor went on to say that everybody was still in shock and that it would take a long time to recover; in fact they may never recover.

I was honored to make this journey, but could not have done it without an anonymous donor providing me with a return air ticket, and for this I am eternally grateful. I personally covered the other costs as I went as a resident of Sidney and not as a Councillor and therefore there were no costs to our taxpayers.

This journey will remain with me forever but I did it for the people of Sidney who came forward and supported the fundraiser, all of which made me proud to call Sidney my home. This was truly “Canadians Helping Canadians”.

Thank you.

Kenny Podmore

And here are some links to the videos we took and you can click on more by scrolling down the right side of the page

where the videos are

Sidney Meet up Womens Networking group members Nicole Sanderson, Catherine Potin, Sharon Bolton, Carell Ayne Whalen, Dana Crowe and myself and the others who came to Beacon Park on Sunday would like to announce that we raised over $3.000.–Whoopee, .
But remember none of it could have been done with Councillor Kenny Podmore.
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Of course we have to thank our fearless leader Kenny Podmore, Town Crier and council man  who we could not have done it without and all the other wonderful people who volunteered .
macccc
  To the people of Lac Megantic we love you
lac 2

lac3

CANADIANS HELPING CANADIANS

lac5

FUNDRAISER FOR VICTIMS AND FAMILIES

LAC-MEGANTIC

QUEBEC

lac

AN AFTERNOON OF MUSIC

FEATURING

“THE ARCHERS, MUFARO AND BLACK RUM”

BEACON PARK SIDNEY

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SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 1ST 2013

1:30 – 4:30

PLEASE BRING YOUR DONATIONS

REFRESHMENTS AND POPCORN BY DONATION

PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY:

THE SIDNEY STAR CINEMA

STONESTREET CATERING

SIDNEY MEET UP WOMENS NETWORKING GROUP

PENINSULA NEWS REVEIW

PANORAMA REC CENTRE

SHORT SOUND

The town of Sidney

If you are not able to make it and would like to make a donation you can make your cheque

out to the Town of Sidney or email me at cbythesea@shaw.ca

FURTHER DETAILS:  COUNCILLOR KENNY PODMORE 250-655-4631

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