New West residents invited to World War Two Cafe

What's happening Around Town

Royal City residents are invited to enjoy a cup of tea and a chat with someone who lived through the Second World War

The New Westminster Museum and Archives and Century House are teaming up to host a “human books” event on Saturday, Oct. 10. People will be invited to have a 20-minute conversation with nine past and current residents who lived through the war and can share stories about air raids, children’s evacuations, the effort on the Homefront and more.

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Malcolm Smith, a child evacuee from Portsmouth, U.K., saw his family home and shop bombed, witnessed the bombing of a pig farm and learned how to avoid being machine-gunned. Doris Mulley’s experiences including traveling across the Atlantic, experiencing rationing in Canada and playing games during blackouts.

Renee Henry, Rita Eleiter, David Cordery, David Levy, Joanna Zabinsky, Eileen Glavin and Laberta Hamill are also “human books” who will also share their stories. Visitors can ask questions about air raids, children’s evacuations, battle accounts, the war effort on the home front and more.

The World War Two café takes place on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Anvil Centre. The all-ages event is by donation.

For more information or to register, call 604-527-4640.

Emergency drill on waterfront

New Westminster firefighters evacuated some residents from two buildings on the Quay on Saturday after a chemical spill on the train tracks near Quayside Drive.

But not to worry – the chemical spill was part of an emergency drill conducted by New Westminster’s police and fire departments.

“We set up an exercise with Southern Rail and did a bit of a mock drill on how we deal with a rail car that has either been damaged or compromised through vandalism, etc.,” Deputy Fire Chief John Hatch explained. “We worked with our crews on a quick response.”

The emergency preparedness exercise got underway about 10 a.m. on Sept. 26, with a “fire” to a rail car on the train tracks east of the Kruger plant.

“We used movie set fog machines that makes it look like its actual smoke,” Hatch said. “Our crews come down and go through their identification processes and identify the product.”

Southern Rail, one of four railroads operating in New West, was part of the drill, as were police and fire departments, Emergency Health Services - B.C. Ambulance Service, the Salvation Army and local residents.

Residents of two Quayside buildings were given the option of whether they wanted to take part in the training exercise.

“We did have 60 or so participants,” Hatch said. “Inside the buildings, we communicated through the public addressing system and announced there was an exercise taking place, that it was a drill.”

Following the two-and-a-half hour exercise, groups taking part in the drill held a post-incident analysis.

“It was very good,” Hatch said. “I think it is something that will grow in the future once people realize what we our objective was.”

Although signs were posted and notices were distributed to alert area residents to the training exercise, Hatch said the city notified the emergency communications dispatch centre (911) of the drill in case any callers were concerned.

City sells commemorative bricks

The City of New Westminster is inviting community members to purchase dedication bricks to honour somebody special.

Dedication bricks are now available for purchase and will be installed at the Wait for Me Daddy statue in Hyack Square on Family Day – Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. The last day to order dedication bricks is Jan. 6, 2016.

Do you want to commemorate a family member or the birth of a child? Celebrate an anniversary or birthday? Pay tribute to someone in the military or emergency services? These are just some of the ideas the city has proposed for the bricks.

Bricks, which are $200, can have a maximum of 36 characters, including spaces and punctuation. For more information, visit www.newwestcity.ca or call 604-515-3827.

Douglas College heads to Uganda

Students and faculty from Douglas College will be among a group of 20 who are calling Uganda home for the next six months.

The college received federal funding to host the International Youth Initiative Program, which allows post-secondary graduates from across Canada to complete internships in the East African country while gaining experience in education, health and social services. The group left for Uganda on Sept. 23.

“This is a way for Canadian students to gain life experience,” instructor Janice Spencer said in a news release. “We’re all going in as learners.”

Spencer is heading the project with fellow faculty member John Fox.

The 28-week paid internships are broken into three job categories: community education worker, community health worker and community social service worker. Students will use their skills as bridge-builders in the community while taking on various projects – including working with local, grassroots organizers, the Masaka Regional Hospital and the Uganda Community Libraries Association.

“We will be supporting the identified needs in the community and working to fill the gap,” Spencer said.

Melissa Pulach, a student in the child and youth care counsellor program, previously volunteered with the Douglas College’s Uganda project.

“I’m so excited to go back,” she said. “I fell in love with Uganda – not just the country, but the people and the culture.”

In the next two years, the federal funding will send 40 interns to Uganda and will support intern salaries, travel and accommodations, as well as faculty time and travel.  In order to qualify, Canadian youth must be between the ages of 19 and 30 and be post-secondary graduates of a diploma or degree program.

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