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Refugee Sponsorship…. by Bob Elkin

My father was born in 1900 in England. At thirteen he was sent down in the mines to work. When World War 1 erupted he tried to enlist but they wouldn’t take him because they needed the coal and they wouldn’t let him out of the mines. Realizing he would live and die a poor miner if he stayed in England he immigrated to Canada after the war, coming as an indentured bush worker. In two years he’d worked off his passage and moved to Hamilton where he carved out a pretty good life for himself and my family. He died at the age of eighty.

What my dad wanted all those years ago was a chance at a better life, a chance he knew he would not get if he stayed where he was born. He’s not the first one to want such a chance. Unless you are First Nation your people came from away too. They probably wanted a chance or wanted to escape a war or wanted to get away from genocide. When the early immigrants arrived all those centuries ago the First Nation’s people were welcoming and that tradition of welcome became part of the fabric of Canada. Europeans, Vietnamese, Latin Americans and many others came and were given a chance and became part of this wonderful country.

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Refugee Sponsorship Information Session December 10, 2015 – 7:30 PM – RCL Br. 374 Richards Landing. Have you been wondering what you can do to help the refugees? Can we sponsor a family in our area? This information Session is to find out if there is enough interest to take on the task of sponsoring a Refugee family. Please come with your thoughts and questions

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Now others want to come. Refugees displaced by war and killing are searching for a future and want to come to Canada and have a chance. Our government is bringing some and is asking us, Canadian citizens to bring some too. Refugee sponsorship carries responsibilities and should never be considered without knowing what they are. An information meeting about sponsorship on St. Joseph Island and area will be held on Thursday December 10th at 7:30 pm at the Royal Canadian Legion in Richard’s Landing. Everyone is invited to attend.

It is not uncommon at this time of year to see manger scenes set up on people’s lawns showing the birth of Jesus at Christmas. This year I hope the mangers remind us of other people from the Middle East who also have nowhere to go. We can do something about these people’s plight. We can help give them a chance. Come on December 10th and find out how.

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