Podmore visits Lac Megantic

Anonymous donation gets fundraiser to disaster scene

Kenny Podmore hands Johanne Vachon

A generous donation of airline tickets from an anonymous source sent Sidney’s Kenny Podmore to ground zero of the Lac Megantic disaster site last week.

Podmore arrived in Lac Megantic on Nov. 1 to see first-hand the destruction of the blast that occurred after a train derailment in the small town on July 6. The explosions killed 47 people.

“The purpose of my visit was to deliver a cheque for $3,027 that was raised from a fundraiser I organized early in September,” said Podmore.

Podmore traveled to Lac Megantic with his stepdaughter-in-law Lucie who is French Canadian and lives in Quebec (she was able to translate for him).

“It was shocking and very emotional,” Podmore said.

“As we approached the little town we stopped for directions to the recreation centre. When I got out of the car there was still the smell of burning in the air.”

Podmore, who went on the trip as a personal endeavour (not as a councillor — there was no cost incurred to the Town of Sidney), said the downtown area of Lac Megantic is completely cordoned off and some new construction is taking place.

“All around were large mounds of black soil and on the corner was a lone rail tanker which was serving as a memorial. It had French words sprayed all over it. I was told that the words were a mix of grief and anger,” he explained.

Podmore presented the cheque and a gift of framed Sidney prints to deputy mayor, Johanne Vachon.

“I explained how the people of Sidney had raised the money and for a few moments we all stood silent with tears in our eyes,” Podmore said, adding he also gave the town a video clip that contained greetings from the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department.

Chris Creighton-Kelly and his wife France provided the translation and The Sidney Meet Up Women in Business made the video possible, he added.

“The Deputy Mayor said that everyone there is still in shock and that it would take the town a long time to recover,” Podmore said.

“I was honoured to make this journey, I won’t forget for a long while. I did it for the people of Sidney who came forward and supported the fundraiser, all of which made me proud to call Sidney my home. This was truly Canadians helping Canadians.”

 

Just Posted

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

False missile alert for Central Saanich councillor

While on vacation in Hawaii, Central Saanich Councillor Alicia Holman was awoken… Continue reading

Victoria airport nearing billion-dollar mark in economic impact

Airport has nearly doubled its passengers and its impact on the economy since 2005

More buoys allowed for Brentwood Bay

Proposed number rises from 40 to 60

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Injured parachutist wants stolen backpack back

Bag contained important video files of 2017 parachuting incident

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Most Read