Cancer sur­vivor, mu­si­cians re­ceive vol­un­teer awards

The Compass - - NEWS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Bishop’s Cove’s Enid Bar­rett had just walked through the door of Har­bour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Par­sons’ of­fice last Tues­day when she struck up a con­ver­sa­tion with the cou­ple on her left.

Dressed to the nines, Bar­rett and her hus­band Jack wasted lit­tle time get­ting ac­quainted with Herman and Ma­rina Har­ris of Har­bour Grace.

Rain pelted the win­dows as the trio chat­ted like they’d known each other for years.

They spoke of chil­dren, health ail­ments and the weather.

Even­tu­ally the con­ver­sa­tion turned to some­thing they’ve shared in com­mon for some time.

Enid, Herman and Ma­rina were there for the same pur­pose – to re­ceive the Sov­er­eign’s Medal for Vol­un­teers in recog­ni­tion of their out­stand­ing work in the com­mu­nity. It re­placed the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Car­ing Cana­dian Award ear­lier this year.

Their sto­ries are dif­fer­ent, but they were in the same place last week.

For more than 30 years, Enid and the Har­ris’ have been do­nat­ing their time and en­ergy to help oth­ers in a va­ri­ety of ways.

Bar­rett started vol­un­teer­ing af­ter her first bat­tle with cancer when she was 54-years-old.

She wanted to help the peo­ple who helped her. Bar­rett started sell­ing cook­books and other items to help the lo­cal hos­pi­tal and the doc­tors, which she calls her ‘an­gels.’

Over the years, she’s sold more than $50,000 worth of cook­books. Jack did the driv­ing and ev­ery­where they went they had copies of the book in the ve­hi­cle with them.

In that time, Bar­rett has per­se­vered through four more cancer surg­eries with the lat­est be­ing in 2012.

“That’s what spurred me to start do­ing good. I do it for God and the doc­tors, the nurses, and any­one else who has helped me,” she told The Com­pass. “I’ve had won­der­ful friends. I try to do the best I can to help ev­ery­thing.”

Now 89, Bar­rett is still heav­ily in­volved in fundrais­ing. Just last week, she brought in $500 for the church.

Herman and Ma­rina have spent years help­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions in and around Har­bour Grace.

Whether it was play­ing a few tunes at a fundraiser or carv­ing out a wooden loon and sell­ing tick­ets on it, the pair of them have been steady in their vol­un­teerism for the last three decades.

A sta­ple on lo­cal tele­vi­sion, the Har­ris’ started out of a sim­ple need to give back. If a phone call came in the mid­dle of the night look­ing for some help, Herman was there to lend a hand.

In her time, Ma­rina has sold tick­ets on nu­mer­ous items for a va­ri­ety of char­i­ties.

They’ve won nu­mer­ous awards as a re­sult of that de­sire.

“Those plaques don’t mean any­thing,” said Ma­rina. “We did it be­cause we wanted to do it.”

Even though they’ve been rec­og­nized in the past, it’s al­ways nice to know your work is be­ing ap­pre­ci­ated.

“Get­ting an award like that is ap­peas­ing to any­one,” said Herman.

Those plaques don’t mean any­thing. We did it be­cause we wanted to do it. Ma­rina Har­ris

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

Herman(left) and Ma­rina Har­ris (right) of Har­bour Grace were rec­og­nized for their sig­nif­i­cant vol­un­teer con­tri­bu­tions to their com­mu­nity through vol­un­teer­ing with the Sov­er­eign’s Medal For Vol­un­teers Nov. 3. Pre­sent­ing them with their medals was Har­bour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Par­sons.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

Bishop’s Cove’s Enid Bar­rett (mid­dle) was rec­og­nized for her sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to her com­mu­nity through vol­un­teer­ing with the Sov­er­eign’s Medal For Vol­un­teers Nov. 3 along­side her hus­band Jack (left). Pre­sent­ing her with the medal was Har­bour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Par­sons.

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