Parrywinkle May 11, 2017


PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Unable to help with actual sandbagging, Delphine Plessis and her two daughters Erin and Ines nevertheless showed up at Hudson’s Fire Station with coffee and cookies for those who were.

Ah, you gotta love Hudson! I mean, sure we have our problems like all small towns. And for some, carping and complaining has become a way of life it would seem. But I tell you, when the need arises - as it has this past week - residents of all ages put aside their differences and personal priorities to come together to help those in need.

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ALL HANDS TO THE PUMPS - For proof of this, you only had to check out our Fire Station on Main Road. Seniors, families, and youngsters from throughout the community wearing wellies and work gear were pitching in to shovel and bag sand for delivery to residents whose homes were threatened or already suffering from unprecedented rising flood water that has devastated so much of our shoreline. Tractors, trailers, trucks, and even hay carts laden with white and orange bags hauling out to the hardest hit sections of town.

Outside and sometimes under rainy skies, human chains were working flat-out obviously with no thought for a break. Inside, people were dropping off coffee, water, soft drinks, and enough Timbits, soup, sandwiches, and other munchies to feed an army. Which is what all the volunteers were, in effect. And boy, did they do Hudson proud!

Personally, and like many other residents of our fair burg, I received several emails seeking volunteers. Not only from friends and Laura McCaffrey of the Town of Hudson, but also one from the Hudson Legion and another from the Hudson War Memorial Library. Not being on Facebook, I can only imagine what a powerful force this was in spreading the message. And then, of course, the infallible old fashioned way, word of mouth.

During a brief break on Monday, volunteer coordinator, firefighter Andrew Dumas told me that on Saturday and Sunday alone they had filled and delivered over 45,000 bags and that the work will continue as long as there is a need.

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ONE VERY SPECIAL MOM - To be candid, I was amazed to see one volunteer showing up with two of her youngsters. Namely, Delphine Plessis, there with her partner, Luc, and two daughters Erin, age 2, and 6-year-old Ines. For Delphine was clearly nine months pregnant and expecting her third child any day now.

“Obviously, I can't fill sand bags,” she laughed. “But I did bring coffee and some food for those who are. It's the least I can do.” Well, in my book Delphine, you certainly crystalized our community's spontaneous outpouring of love and concern for others whose names we might not even know. Or ever meet in person.

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PRAISE WHERE PRAISE IS DUE - Meanwhile, everyone I have spoken to this past week, including many Rigaud residents, have had nothing but praise for their tireless firefighters, emergency crews, town employees, community patrol, and the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).

And then there are the many stories of Good Samaritans going the extra mile to help their neighbours and fellow residents. Like the young couple shopping at a local supermarket clad in waders and obviously exhausted from sandbagging their home being told by the lady - who they did not know - in front of them at the checkout line, “You look like you have had a rough day. Please, let me pay your bill.” Which she did, to the tune of 40 bucks!

Canoeists, themselves unaffected by the flood, were pitching in and ferrying sandbags across what were once lawns and gardens to build retaining walls at the homes of complete strangers.

And then on Sunday, May 7 - in a sight not seen in Hudson since the infamous Ice Storm of 1998 - soldiers in LAVs ( Light Armoured Vehicles) serving with the 12th Armoured Regiment moved in from Val Cartier to help relieve exhausted firefighters, municipal officials, and work crews continue the battle.

A battle that, while far from won right now, will indeed be won. Of that there is no doubt. And thanks in no small part to the countless volunteers who, once again, put others before themselves in Hudson's real time of need!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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