‘Peo­ple came from all these ar­eas…’

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

When she first got wind of the pub­lic ap­peal for help, the United Church min­is­ter said she called some mem­bers of her church and ever y or­ga­ni­za­tion from sur - round­ing com­mu­ni­ties up and down the shore helped out. “ Peo­ple came from all these ar­eas,” she said.

Af­ter un­load­ing a rental truck filled bread and wa­ter from the Red Cross, Rev. Hopkins said the driver re­turned to St. John’s with the truck while an­other man and two women from the Red Cross re­mained be­hind with their pickup to help out.

Com­forted by the sight of those Red Cross vests, Rev. Hopkins said, “ their pres­ence showed some­body else from out­side the com­mu­nity cared enough to be there, and that meant a lot to me.”

Quick take-up

The re­lief ef­fort had to be so hastily or­ga­nized that there were peo­ple in Catalina who didn’t even re­al­ize a boat was on its way from their com­mu­nity to Old Per­li­can to pick up sup­plies.

When she called the United Church in Catalina to find out what was most desperately needed by the peo­ple there, Rev. Hopkins said Rev. Cathy Gradante, the lo­cal U.C. min­is­ter, hadn’t heard any­thing about it. So she went to the Angli­can hall and in­quired at some of the lo­cal nurs­ing homes and shops. She said Rev. Gradante was also “ feel­ing so help­less and didn’t know what to do.”

When she found out what the peo­ple in Old Per­li­can were do­ing, Rev. Gradante ex­claimed: “ what a won­der­ful vi­sion of the hands of Christ work­ing in this world!”

A lit­tle over two hours af­ter ar­riv­ing in Old Per­li­can, at 6: 40 p. m., the Sil­ver Foam was loaded and on its way back to Catalina, where it ar­rived around 10: 30 that night.

Won­der­ful re­sponse

Rev. Squires said they took 17 truck­loads of sup­plies from the boat to the church hall in Catalina.

De­scrib­ing the re­sponse from the peo­ple in Old Per­li­can as “ won­der­ful and great,” Rev. Squires said the food was enough to sup­ply Catalina, Lit­tle Catalina and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties. “ We used some for our food bank and kitchen at the church hall,” he said.

Never dream­ing peo­ple had lost ev­ery­thing in their homes, Rev. Hopkins said, “ if we had more no­tice we could have filled two boats.”

He was “ very grate­ful” to the peo­ple of Old Per­li­can for the way they came through for the peo­ple of his com­mu­nity.

Aside from the boat­load from Old Per­li­can, Rev. Squires said the Cavendish Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment ar­rived in Catalina Sun­day with a truck­load of milk, bread, but­ter and eggs.

Mov­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

Rev. Hopkins was so moved by the acts of kind­ness and gen­eros­ity she wit­nessed that day, she found it dif fi­cult to talk about with­out be­com­ing emo­tional.

“My only wish is that the peo­ple could only know how proud they should be of them­selves,” Rev. Hopkins said. “ For days they had been won­der­ing what they could do to help out, and when that op­por­tu­nity arose, they were there to help. Their re­sponse was to go flat out with ev­ery­thing they had.”

Ad­mit­ting, “ I didn’t ex­pect any less of them,” Rev. Hopkins said, “ but I’m still over­whelmed by it all.”

Now into her 11th year in the Trin­ity South com­mu­nity, she said, “ I just feel so lucky to be here.”

A small army of vol­un­teers turned out on the wharf in Old Per­li­can to help load the long liner Sil­ver Foam with food, wa­ter and other ne­ces­si­ties of life bound for hur­ri­cane-stricken Catalina.

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