La Maison Aube-Lumière - poinsettias 2018
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Mercredi, 21 mai 2014


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I heard a little horror story recently. Imagine being bedridden in hospital, and you don't know how to ask for a bedpan. In French. And no one who speaks English is within earshot. It has happened. The result was not a pretty sight. It was humiliating, too.

To my horror, I immediately realized that this could someday be my own story. Sure I speak French. But "un bassin hygiénique" is simply not in my vocabulary - that is the right term, isn't it? And how do you pronounce it? Especially when under duress.

Being able to communicate is so vital in situations of illness and life or death. The Volunteer Action Centre - Centre d'action bénévole du Haut-Saint-François (CAB) - is working on a little tool that could help save a lot of frustration, some time, and maybe even a life, now and then. Imagine saying you have "mal au coeur" when you are really having chest pain (douleur thoracique). Oops. One is stomach trouble; the other is likely a heart problem! That has happened, too.

The little tool is called a Health Passport. It's simply a small booklet that contains key phrases to use in medical and hospital situations. Several other areas in the Townships have one already, and the CAB is adapting their creations to apply to English speakers in the Haut-Saint-François. With their permission, of course. These kind partners are the Megantic English-speaking Community Development Corporation in Thetford Mines, and Townshippers' Association, who is also making a financial contribution to the little project.

Looking through the booklet, one sees impressive vocabulary lists of physical symptoms and body parts. But many of the things one needs to say to caregivers in a hospital situation are missing. Like asking for a bedpan, for example. We'd like to beef up this part of the booklet.

Wearing my other hat as a CAB employee, I am asking your help with this project. Have you ever had a problem communicating something in French to a health professional or in a hospital or long-term care residence? I'd really like to know what you needed to say.

This week I'm collecting this kind of information, and I'd really love to hear from you. You can call me - Rachel Garber - at 819-300-2374 - leave a message if I'm not there, with your phone number, please. You can email me at Or you can come see me this Friday May 23, from 10 to 11 a.m., in the Activity Room (3rd floor) of the Manoir de l'eau vive at 210 Principale East in Cookshire.

Moving quickly from horror to happy, here are a few items of good cheer.

Heirloom Seedlings

Brian Creelman has rolled out his wagon loads of heirloom transplants/seedlings. They're the old-fashioned veggies, full of taste, full of grace. He's got over 3000 plants! Over 100 different kinds of vegetables. Over 32 varieties of tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are that antique generation I remember from my childhood - luscious, juicy, flavourful.

He's got peppers. Squashes. Cabbages. Kale, four kinds. Kohlrabi. Califlower. Cucumbers. Lettuce. Brussel sprouts. The whole gamut. For sale at reasonable prices.

So go on over to see Brian. His seedlings sale extends over the next two weekends, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. To go during the week, phone first, because he'll like be out in the gardens, working.

Heirloom veggie heaven is at 222 Route 112 West, near Bishopton. Look for the BIG tomato sign. Info: 819-832-4969.

Horses in garden

The Sawyerville Community Garden has been plowed. But before that, a team of big draft horses were in action, with a medium-sized wagon and a small group of stone gatherers. The horses pulled the wagon around the garden. The stone gatherers picked up stones and threw them into the wagon. And then unloaded them at the edge of the trees.

It was a sight to behold - Chantal Bolduc reining in the mighty steeds who didn't really want to stand around so long. But they were patient, and the children petted their noses at the end of the short work session.

How you slice it

The Eaton Valley Community Learning Centre (CLC) invites us all to a Community Conversation on Wednesday May 28, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

The idea is to bring together community members, schools, and representatives from different organizations. The plan is to explore different ways we can partner to improve student success and community vitality. Getting together is the first step toward collaboration, and being connected. Plugged in, they call it.

Besides, the CLC is putting on a free supper, and offering free daycare service. And on top of that, the results of the Slice of Life voting will be announced.

Slice of Life? Slab of Tree. It's that huge slab of the old Pine tree that used to stand in front of the Pope Memorial School in Bury. The Cycle 3 students have counted its rings - 109. It began growing in 1901, and was cut down in 2010. They've studied its life span. They've looked at ways to save trees. Then Bury adults were asked to contribute "slices of life" that took place during the Pine's life. They came up with an impressive list of 71 local events.

Now community members are invited to come and vote on the top five events. The results of the voting will be revealed at the May 28th Community Conversation. Come and see what won!

But you can also still stop by and vote. Coordinator Kim Fessenden has a little voting booth set up in the corner of the CLC room. It's at the far end of the Pope Memorial Elementary School, 523 Stokes, in Bury. Drop in any time during school hours. And take a look at the students' artefacts display and research results - they're some interesting little slices of life.

To attend the Community Conversation, please contact Kim to reserve your spot. She's at 819-872-3771 or Deadline: Monday noon, May 26.


The Newport 4 Horizons Recreation Committee has a walking group that heads out for a friendly walk on picturesque country roads, for about an hour, twice a week. All are welcome. Just meet Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Newport Municipal Hall at 1452 Route 212 in Island Brook. Info: Francine Rouleau, 819-875-3895.

Church services

United: A Gospel Memorial Hymn Sing is Sunday May 25 at 10:30 a.m. at the Trinity United Church, 190 Principale St. West, Cookshire. A potluck lunch of finger foods (sandwiches, veggies & dip, cookies, squares, etc.) follows. Beverages are provided. All are welcome. On Sunday June 1st, services and Sunday school are in Cookshire at 9:30 a.m., and in Sawyerville at 11 a.m. (listen to message at 819-889-2838, and leave a message, too).

Anglican: Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. at the St. Paul's Church in Bury (with Sunday school for children) and 11 a.m. in Cookshire (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. Children's Community Club (bilingual) on Saturday May 24, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at the church, 33 Cookshire St. (819-239-8818).

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by May 26 for publication June 4, and June 9 for June 18.

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