Ahoy! from the Town­ships

Lo­cals head to Que­bec City port bear­ing gifts

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - By Matthew Mccully

Mem­bers of St. Ge­orge’s Angli­can Church and other lo­cals were up at the crack of dawn yes­ter­day morn­ing to board a bus headed for Que­bec City and de­liver ‘sailor boxes’.

For close to 30 years, the con­gre­ga­tion and other par­tic­i­pat­ing lo­cal churches have been do­nat­ing shoe boxes filled with toi­letries, mitts, hats, and other cold weather es­sen­tials to the or­ga­ni­za­tion La Mai­son du Marin.

The boxes are dis­trib­uted to sailors

from all over the world who pass through Que­bec City around Christ­mas.

Ac­cord­ing to or­ga­nizer Kath­leen Hartwell, close to 200 boxes were col­lected this year to de­liver to La Mai­son du Marin, along with ad­di­tional do­na­tions of warm cloth­ing.

They were as­sem­bled and do­nated by the Angli­can churches of Ayer’s Cliff, Coat­i­cook, Bury, Richmond and St. Ge­orge’s in Len­noxville.

The boxes are wrapped like Christ­mas gifts.

“Ap­par­ently it’s a real hoot when they open them in Que­bec City,” Hartwell said.

The sailors that pass through the Que­bec City port come from all over the world. Some have been away at sea for long stretches of time, and many are not equipped with cloth­ing for a Cana­dian win­ter.

La Mai­son du Marin pro­vides a list of sug­ges­tions of things to in­clude in the boxes like gloves, hats, socks; any other com­forts peo­ple could think of (cho­co­late, play­ing cards, toi­letries) are also wel­come.

“We’ve been go­ing to Que­bec City since the early 1990s,” Hartwell said. “We make a day of it.”

In to­tal, 56 Town­ship­pers took the trip yes­ter­day to de­liver the boxes. They boarded a bus in front of St. Ge­orges in Len­noxville at around 6:30 a.m. and con­tin­ued on to Richmond to pick up other pas­sen­gers on the way to the port.

Upon ar­rival, Hartwell said they are usu­ally greeted in Que­bec City with cof­fee and donuts. Af­ter a brief tour of La Mai­son du Marin, they drop off the sailor boxes and cloth­ing do­na­tions, and then head into the city for some shop­ping, sight see­ing and lunch.

By 3:15 p.m. Hartwell said the group then hits the road again. They make their way to In­ver­ness for din­ner.

“The Ladies Aux­il­iary will serve us the most de­light­ful sup­per,” Hartwell said. They also have jams, jel­lies and other pre­serves avail­able for sale, she added.

The bus rolls back into town around 8:15 p.m.

“We only hit snow once,” com­mented Hartwell.

Some peo­ple in the group have been tak­ing the trip ev­ery year since St. Ge­orge’s started the tra­di­tion.

“It’s a de­light­ful day that ev­ery­one seems to en­joy,” she said.


Donna Gar­fat and Kath­leen Hartwell, two of the or­ga­niz­ers of St. Ge­orge’s Angli­can Church’s an­nual trip to Que­bec City to de­liver ‘sailor boxes.’ Wrapped like Christ­mas gifts, the boxes, con­tain­ing warm cloth­ing, toi­letries and small gifts are dis­trib­uted to sailors pass­ing through the port around Christ­mas.

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