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Mercredi, 25 septembre 2013

Stephanie Writes

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The tragedy at Lac-Mégantic this summer touched the hearts of many far beyond the region, including myself and many of us in Victoria, BC. Being here, visiting my aunt Rachel, and so close, I felt compelled to visit the town. It was not to gawk at a disaster scene, but to be present at the epicenter of the sadness to pay my respects for those who died.

The place looks now not so much as a disaster site but like a massive construction zone: a steady parade of trucks coming and going, removing soil and filling the breeze with dust as they passed; large cement pipes lined up waiting to be planted under the new streets, and workers in hard hats.

The physical reminders of the destruction are mainly to be seen on the fringes, where siding panels warped by the heat curl off the facades of homes and buildings. But there were other signs of the tragedy that will not disappear with workers and construction materials. They are in the faces of the residents walking along the fence, as they likely do every day; faces fill with grief two months old and so deep that, whatever joys the years ahead may bring, it will likely be with them for the rest of their lives.

Others along the fence seemed to be like me: visitors from elsewhere, viewing the scene, conversing in soft voices and snapping a few pictures in an act of quiet, somber tourism. I stayed in the town for lunch and coffee, doing what I could in my small way to help the local economy. Before heading back to my aunt`s home, I left behind a message at the memorial on the fence to let them know the thoughts of people from far away remain with them: "Avec l'amour de Victoria, C.-B."

Stephanie Garber lives in Victoria, BC where she works for the James Bay Beacon community newspaper,

The MADA (Age-Friendly Municipality) survey in Newport begins this week. Lyne Maisonneuve will be phoning Newport residents aged 55+ in the coming weeks. She will ask them to answer a few questions by phone or at home. Info: 819-889-1340.

The Eaton Corner Museum offers a hands-on workshop on preserving your own vegetable seeds for next year. Brian Creelman is to lead it, and it's planned for Saturday morning, October 5, at 9 a.m. To register, call 819-875-5256. Suggested donation: $10.

The fall sale of the Trinity United Church at 190 Principale West, Cookshire, is at hand. It's next Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. But it may close a bit earlier on Sunday, so don't wait till the last minute. That's the word from Don and Gladys Parsons.

They promise a menagerie of all sorts of household things. Dishes, linens, small appliances such as toasters and microwave. Light fixtures and lamps. Puzzles, children's toys and games, books. Picture frames, paintings. Garden tools, lawn mower. Small furniture such as tables, lazy boys and padded chairs. Brass curtain rods.

What doesn't go the first weekend could be yours at a bag sale on Saturday October 5, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Proceeds will go to the maintenance of the church, and special projects such as the donation given recently to the Red Cross for Lac-Mégantic. Info: 819-875-3796.

The 500 Card Parties are underway again at the Bulwer Community Centre, Jordan Hill Road, on Thursdays, October 3, 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. Admission: $5. It includes a light lunch followed by distribution of prizes. All are welcome! For Bulwer Community Centre info: leave a message and return phone number at 819-875-3452.

Reminder: This Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m., weekly Viactive sessions begin in three locations. They're feel-good exercises for ages 50+. They're in English or are bilingual, and they're easy to do, either seated or standing. They're led by friendly volunteers who have been trained by a kinesiologist from the Sercovie non-profit organization in Sherbrooke. And they're free.

Gérard and Denise Nault lead the bilingual Viactive group in the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street. They're a friendly team! Info: 819-889-2630.

Irma Chapman and June Morrison lead the Bury group at the Armoury Community Centre, 563 Main Street. They're friendly, too! Info: 819-560-8540 (option 9) or

Serena Wintle leads the Cookshire group, at the new Résidence Cookshire-Eaton at 210 Principale East. It's in the Activity Room (Salle communautaire), on the 2nd floor. At the building entrance, dial 333 for Reception. The door will open. Take the elevator to the 2nd floor, turn right and go down the hall. The Activity room will be on your left, opposite Room 207. Info: 819-560-8540 (option 9) or

United: Sunday services and Sunday school are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire, and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville (for details, listen to message at 819-889-2838, and for more info, leave a message and phone number).

Anglican: Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury (with Sunday school for children) and 11 a.m. in Cookshire. Messy Church for young families is Wednesday, October 2, from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m., at Saint Paul's Church in Bury. Children aged 2 to 12 are welcome, along with their parents, for stories, crafts, worship and dinner, which is provided (819-239-6902).
Baptist: In Sawyerville, the worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French (819-239-8818).

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by September 30 for publication October 9 and by October 15 for October 23.

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