Three charity gala events co-hosted by the RCMP in Woodstock, Moncton, and Bathurst have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the construction of the Sgt. Mark Gallagher Memorial Vocational School in Haiti.
The following is a summary of events to date on the journey to creating a vocational school in the mountains of Haiti in memory of Sgt. Mark Gallagher who perished in the service of humanity during the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010.
It is 5:00 AM Haiti time and the roosters and the dogs are in full competitive volume. I am sitting in the cabin built by the Friends of Mark Gallagher’s Quebec partners, AQANU, to house them and other international visitors working with Les Petites Soeurs de Ste. Therese (PSST) in the mountains overlooking Port au Prince. The bell for morning prayers rang about 5 minutes ago and I can hear the sisters lifting their voices to God as they begin their day. The sky is star-filled, the breeze fresh and one gets a sense of the paradise Haiti must have been before the arrival of Christopher Columbus over 500 years ago. It was here where Chris first dropped anchor in the “new world” and quickly began the decimation of the indigenous peoples in the name of God and Queen Isabella of Spain.
As you read this I will be on my fourth mission trip to Haiti; mission in the sense of a specifically and strategically planned trip to accomplish pre-set goals. Each time I go to Haiti, I like to write my column on some aspect of Haitian history or culture. This week, allow me to introduce you to a few people I have met since I began travelling to the poorest country in the western hemisphere in April 2010.
Co-Chair John Slipp receiving a cheque from Student Council at Bristol Elementary.
April 21st 2011
A group of people came together this week to discuss the vocational school being built in Haiti in memory of Sgt. Mark Gallagher. From left are volunteer consultant engineer Dr. Eugene Lewis, Richard Blaquiere of the Friends of Mark Gallagher Committee, Honourary Chairperson for the project Lt.-Gov. Graydon Nicholas, NBCC Woodstock principal Tim Marshall and Reg Sorel of Quebec, who is a member of an NGO in Haiti.
A Vigil Service to observe the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti almost a year ago, is being organized by the Friends of Sgt. Mark Gallagher.
The ecumenical service will take place at St. Gertrude’s Church in Woodstock on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m., allowing all from the local area to join together in remembering that horrible and deadly day in 2010.
Less than two months into the official fundraising campaign to build the Sgt. Mark Gallagher Memorial Vocational School in Haiti, the steering committee is deeply impressed with the public interest thus far.
The project to build the Sgt. Mark Gallagher Memorial Vocational School in Haiti has received a tremendous boost as The Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, has agreed to serve as honorary chair of the local coordinating committee.
As students prepare to return to secondary and post-secondary schools this fall, the Friends of the late Mark Gallagher have officially launched the fundraising drive to build a vocational school in his honour in Riviere Froide, Haiti.
The dreams of late Sgt. Mark Gallagher for the country of Haiti will be continued by his family.
Last week took us from the airport through Port au Prince and Carrefour to the road that would end at the site of our school.
In last week's installment I shared my story of my travel partner, Brent Shaw, and I meeting a real life angel of mercy.
Vanessa Carpenter of Salem Virginia, was returning to Haiti to reunite two children with their families after the little ones were treated for life- threatening injuries in the U.S.
From the moments I learned of the cataclysm in Haiti and subsequently of the loss of over 230,000 lives, among whom were several Canadians including Woodstock based Sgt. Mark Gallagher, I could think of little else.
Sgt. Gallagher's sacrifice and that of his family made this disaster personal for me and indeed for many people in Carleton County.
A group in Woodstock is getting together to build a vocational school in Haiti, in memory of Sgt. Mark Gallagher.
The RCMP officer was working with the United Nations, training Haitian police officers when he was killed in January's earthquake.
Richard Blaquiere, a Woodstock High School teacher and member of the group, said...
As help flowed from around the globe to the people of Haiti following January's devastating earthquake, few people reacted with more caring, compassion and commitment than the residents of Carleton and York counties.
The existing close ties between New Brunswickers and Haitians prior to the earthquake only grew stronger in the aftermath of the tragedy. Few bonds were tighter than those connecting the small community of Northampton to the small nation of Haiti.