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Ray of light shines during dark days

Shelah Brooks - Haldimand Review staff
Haldimand Review
Local News - Thursday, May 25, 2006 @ 09:00

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

CALEDONIA During a dark period, Caledonia shined.

“This is Caledonia at its finest,” said Reverend Chris McMaster just two days after the altercation took place between Caledonia residents and native protesters.

On May 22 at 2:14 p.m., the lights went out after an act of vandalism at a transformer station on Argyle Street South behind a Six Nations barricade. According to Hydro One media spokesperson Daffyd Roderick, a vehicle was driven through the gate at the transformer compound and set on fire under switch gears. A second fire was lit in a brick building housing a transformer and other equipment.

In Haldimand County, 11,400 customers were in the dark and 24,000 were without power in Norfolk, with half of them in Simcoe.

McMaster and many others from St. Paul’s Anglican Church took the initiative to get a barbecue going to help those who were without power due to the power outage get a hot meal.

“We started at the church (Tuesday) and we served a lot of folks over there,” said McMaster. “We had a lot of food leftover, so we decided we would come over here (to the Zehrs parking lot).”

The idea for the barbecue started when the bishop with the diocese of Niagara called McMaster and asked what he could do.

“I said, Bishop, I’d like to feed the people,’” said McMaster.

“So he has supplied money to kick this off and we’ve gotten donations from the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and local businesses.”

Gourmet Meats in Mount Hope even lent a large barbecue for the church to use to cook all the meat.

Throughout the day on May 23, McMaster said more than 1,300 burgers, hot dogs, and peameal on a bun went out to residents. Tuesday, they were back at it.

“We moved to the Zehrs parking lot because we recognized this was the part of town that was still out of power,” said McMaster. “This is about peace and love and reconciliation right now and building community spirit.”

Dealing with the power outage was a scramble for many Caledonia people and business owners. Over at Zehrs, employees were working hard to load food into the four refrigeration units brought in.

“Two units were put on freezer and two were put on cool,” said Stu Roberts, assistant store manager.

“Then all four were filled with as much product as we could get in there.”

There were some losses, though minimal, but the dollar figure could not be released.

“Anything that was in the danger area for food safety was discarded,” said Roberts.

“Nothing was donated to anybody.”

Brenda Kish, a Caledonia resident, lost power between 2 and 11:30 p.m.

“My husband is a small engine mechanic, so we got the generators out,” said Kish. “We also had one of our customers, Hasty Market, come in needing help with their generators. Their ice cream was melting, so we repaired their generator and off they went.”

Now that the power is back on and things seem to be calming down, Kish said she hopes things will get settled.

“Hopefully things will get better now,” she said.

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