Locals Celebrate with Bequia Charity Group
March 24, 2006

Locals Celebrate with Bequia Charity Group

Beneficiaries of the Bequia Mission, a charitable organization, came out to say ‘thank you’ on Sunday March 12 for the assistance they received over the years, and declared that day as “Bequia Mission Day.”

The locals and members of the Bequia Mission spent the day sharing fond memories and meals under the Almond tree while President of the Canadian Board of Directors, Gerry Bird pledged continued assistance from the Bequia Mission. {{more}}

He praised the Bequia Mission for setting up a local management team which, he said, will be better able to distribute donations based on a needs assessment.

Meanwhile Chairman of that local committee, Sylvester Tannis warned that the organisation, which was started in the 1960’s by Reverend Ron and June Armstrong who lived on the island, does not have unlimited resources.

He underscored the fact that people who initiate charity organisations are not always extremely wealthy, but are people who care enough to put aside a few dollars from their meagre resources to help others.

He urged locals not to be ungrateful, but to also make an effort to raise their own funds, which could be incorporated into the Bequia Mission financial pool.

Tannis said that he was disappointed with the small turn out of locals who came to show their appreciation and noted that when the time of need arose, the Bequia Mission was never short of people with applications.

The local Chairman of the charity group praised the Armstrongs for establishing the charity organisations and also thanked the members for continuing the work after the founding couple’s passing.

The Bequia Mission not only serves the people of Bequia but other Grenadine Islands, mainland St.Vincent and the Windward Islands.

It is mainly made up of Canadians who visit Bequia during the winter months and who make an effort to get to know the locals better.

Some of the activities of the Bequia Mission include: a once a week lunch for over 18 senior citizens on the island, a school feeding programme for some 21 primary and secondary school students, educational, financial and medical assistance to children.

Donations are also made to the Louis Punnett Home for the elderly, the Liberty Lodge Boys’ Training Centre, the Bequia Hospital, the Mental Health Centre and Sunshine School for the Disabled.

A moment of silence was observed to remember the lives and work of the Armstrongs who were the founding members of the Bequia Mission and stalwart, June Irvin who died recently in an accident in Canada.