Hon­duran man headed home for Christ­mas

Res­i­dents of Grand Bank contribute­d to fundrais­ing ef­forts for Lenin Al­men­darez

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY COLIN FARRELL GRAND BANK, N.L. [email protected]­erngazette.ca

A Hon­duran man who has spent the last 11 months in Grand Bank will be re­turn­ing home in time to spend the hol­i­days with his fam­ily.

The Town of Grand Bank joined forces with the Sal­va­tion Army Men’s Fel­low­ship to help raise the funds needed to pur­chase a ticket for Lenin Al­men­darez, or Lenny — who is cur­rently liv­ing on­board the Yah­weh, for­merly the At­lantic Pur­suit — to travel home.

The ves­sel, once owned by Clear­wa­ter Seafoods Ltd., has been docked at the wharf in the com­mu­nity for more than a decade. The ves­sel was seized from its pre­vi­ous owner in 2015 as a means to pay debts owed to the Grand Bank Har­bour Author­ity.

The old trawler was even­tu­ally sold to a pri­vate busi­ness owner who had planned to trans­port the ship to Hon­duras. At­tempts to move the ves­sel have been un­suc­cess­ful to date and the ship has been seized again with an un­cer­tain fu­ture.

Al­men­darez came to Grand Bank, along with two other men who have since left, to ren­o­vate the ship for the new owner.

Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews ex­plained that as long as the ship was owned by a pri­vate com­pany, some­one had to re­main with the ves­sel and that re­spon­si­bil­ity fell on Al­men­darez. Now that the Grand Bank Har­bour Author­ity has placed the ves­sel un­der ar­rest, he no longer needs to be on board.

Matthews told The South­ern Gazette on Fri­day, Dec. 7 he didn’t think they would reach their goal of pur­chas­ing a ticket for Lenin un­til some­time this week.

“The to­tal amount of do­na­tions we re­ceived was $3,385, in two days only,” he said. “The over­whelm­ing sup­port from the com­mu­nity was just so im­pres­sive, true to form like good New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans.”

The fundrais­ing cam­paign was ini­ti­ated on Tues­day, Dec. 4.

Matthews added that sup­port also came from busi­nesses within the com­mu­nity, and from other towns.

He ex­plained that from the funds raise they were able to pur­chase the ticket for Al­men­darez. “The other ex­penses that he’s re­quired to have, we have the money all al­lo­cated for that,” the mayor said.

He added that Al­men­darez is very thank­ful for the sup­port he has been given dur­ing his time in the com­mu­nity.

“He says he’s, ‘Happy, happy, happy,’” ac­cord­ing to Matthews.

Matthews said on be­half of the Town of Grand Bank, The Sal­va­tion Army Men’s Fel­low­ship and Al­men­darez he would like to ex­tend his thanks to ev­ery­one that do­nated to this ini­tia­tive.

FILE PHOTO

A re­cent at­tempt to have the Yah­weh, for­merly the At­lantic Pur­suit, re­moved from the wharf in Grand Bank has been un­suc­cess­ful.

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