The community of Treasure Cay on the Bahamian island of Abaco was left in devastation after the passage of Hurricane Dorian and that almost every home and business received significant damage. All infrastructure – water, electricity, communications and fuel – requires a complete rebuild. Essential businesses (food, energy, building supplies) must perform repairs or completely rebuild before they can start up again and receive inventory; once they are operational local residents who have been evacuated will be able to plan a return and begin restoration on their own homes.
Elisabeth de Snaijer and Rick Edwards brought up Livingston “Lucky” Rolle, their faithful taxi driver and friend to visit here in Canada while essential services are being restored in Treasure Cay. Before coming, he put a tarp over his roof, removed the soaked interior walls and boarded up where windows and doors used to be. As you can imagine, he is anxious to go back and start rebuilding his home but knows that little can be done until basic services are again operational. We have been told that the local gas station is again functional and providing fuel to power emergency vehicles and generators. A worker’s camp is being prepared for hundreds of volunteers and day-labourers to begin removing the tons of building debris prior to massive re-roofing and structural repairs.
Listen to Lucky being interviewed on CBC Radio Ottawa Morning
Lissie and Rick are hosting two Wine ‘N Cheese evenings with Lucky this week to which the community is invited. The second of these is Thursday evening (7:00 PM – 9:00 PM) at 143 Malcolm Street in Almonte. You’ll see some footage of the devastation, will hear Lucky’s story of survival and… there will be music! Lucky will sing a few songs from the Bahamas (and elsewhere), and a few other guests will share some musical selections. If you cannot make the party and and wish to donate, you may drop off donations during the day or send an email transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will also be a basket sitting near the door to collect donations towards the rebuilding of Lucky’s house. Our goal is to send him home with enough money to rebuild his roof. He feels that once his roof is watertight he will be able to repair the remaining areas during the following months as money permits. If you wish to donate, please put cash (no need to include name) or a cheque in an envelope. No amount is too small and all contributions will be greatly appreciated. There will be no tax receipts issued, but know that 100% will go directly to help Lucky to rebuild his house and to encourage him as he understands that Canadians care about people in crisis all around the world.
Unfortunately, the media/news cycle about the destruction on Abaco and Grand Bahama Island seems about over, and the herculean work of rebuilding homes, businesses, communities and lives is not quite ready to begin…although the Bahamian people, who will be returning slowly, will get food and clothing donations, there will likely be no cash payouts for them to buy building materials. The government has announced only that it will forego the 12% VAT and duties on all incoming goods and will provide small business loans to those who need to rebuild.
We must remind charitable organizations, foundations, government entities, and ourselves that the restoration of these islands and cays will take many months and possibly years. Your concern and compassion will make a difference to Lucky.
If you cannot make the party but wish to donate, please contact Elisabeth de Snaijer at