‘People came from all these areas…’
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.”
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.
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.
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.