Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A SENSE OF COMMUNITY: OUR NUCLEAR FAMILY PART ONE

My family and me are soooo fortunate.  Our Nuclear Family extends, like a humongous octopus's  legs,  over the length and breadth of Turtle Island.  AND - the good thing about it is that  there are people of many races and creeds who make up this family.
Now, this is the  latest wonderful thing that they are doing.  My youngest daughter and her son, Robert, suffered a fire two years ago.  Not from any negligence on their part; a stranger, with a large hate on for the world, torched their trailer and three or four other places on the same day.  It was a severe blow and they haven't really made it back to the same footing they enjoyed before the fire.  They are a single parent family with the mother on a disability pension and the son attending school full time. 
The trailer park they live in is being closed down, so they have to move to another one.  This is very costly and without any expertise in such matters it is very scary.   Then, a few days ago, a friend from The Red Cedar Drum Group, who also attends my drum group, asked if they could host a benefit or fundraiser to help them.  I hadn't even thought of such a thing, even though I had been present at a number of them that took place over the years.  Of course, that was in the 1930's and 1940's, back when people still had a sense of community, and everyone helped and looked-out for their neighbor.

.  Our entire community would turn out, and they would put on a dance, along with a pot-luck supper and they had a meeting where they decided what should be done.  Everybody took part and everyone donated what they could afford.  In those days it was called Passing the Blanket, and that is exactly what we did.  A blanket was laid on the floor and people dug into their pockets and walked up to the blanket  and  placed their money and list of other things they were willing to take responsibility for doing.  IE: one such piece of paper may have read, "I will donate a set of dishes or a table or . . .  Something that would fit in with the type of disaster they were alleviating.  The Speaker would have his helper collect the money and the slips of paper.  They usually counted  the money, and noted in a book all the promises so that they kept a current list of needs still outstanding. Sometimes they had more then one meeting before they were able to solve all the problems.  i recall that the Japanese people that lived on the far side of Egmont always dug down and helped the community where ever they were able.  Even people from Sechelt, Pender Harbour, St. Vincent Bay, Blind Bay, Goliath Bay, and many of the other outer settlements done what they could.

In this case,  they require  people who know how to help with getting the trailer ready to move, and cash to pay for all the  things that must be done to make the trailer ready, then the actual moving, and the laying of a trailer pad at the new location.  The disconnecting and re-connecting of all services.  It's a huge headache when you don't know what you are doing.  I guess we will learn, though.

We had our Drumming Group meeting tonight and we sang beautifully because our hearts were filled with love and good feelings.  We discussed the Benefit or Fundraiser, and began delegating sections of things to do to specific people.  There are still people required to do certain things, and we need people to canvass the community for donations for Silent Auction, Raffle, Bake Sale items, people to cook for the dinner part of the happening.  There are many other things I have not touched on, but I have faith they will be filled when the right person hears about it.

This event will take place on March 26, 2011, which is also my birthday.   It will be held at the SIB community hall.  They are not charging for the use of the hall.  It is one of the ways our band helps its members. 
We plan to have entertainment, traditional food and other types, I will tell a couple of stories, and Temahtana will tell stories to the kids.  This is just the beginning.  We want to have a Round Dance, drumming and singing, etc.  It should be  quite an event.  You won't want to miss it.  I'll report on the next segment as it comes due.

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