By 'Editor, LDSCaNews'
Maritime Branch Billets Air Passengers
ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA -- When word spread among citizens
of Newfoundland's capital on 11 September 2001 that planes full of
passengers would be landing at their airport, many citizens rushed to
Little did Marie Routhier know that after putting her name on a
billet list she would be helping out the St. John's Branch of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But when she phoned her
friend Ryan, a member of the Church, and his mum invited her to come
help, she reluctantly accepted.
Members of the branch had already turned the chapel pews into beds
for the 200 people they were expecting from flights bound for New
York and Montreal. Armed with people, bedding and food, the branch
was finally ready when their guests walked in the door at 4:00 in the
Routhier told of the many Tim Hortons and McDonalds runs she made
during the six days the passengers were staying at the chapel.
"I learned a lot about and the human condition while volunteering
this week. I only slept about 10 hours total over the course of the
six days, but it was like running on auto-pilot. For me, it wasn't
necessarily a case of it being the right thing to do, it was the ONLY
thing to do...and I think I've grown as a person through it."
Even though Roger's Cable donated cable service to the chapel so
people could keep up with the news, it didn't convince them to stay
inside very long. Many of the people stranded in The Rock may never
have thought to stop here on their own, and they were going to take a
Many friendships were forged through sitting with each other at the
chapel, touring the beautiful city and passing the time. As a result,
a reunion is being planned for a couple of years from now.
"I made so many friends, met some really great people, and ended up
having a rocking good time. Instead of being glad to get rid of em in
the end, we were all sad, and there were people crying everywhere!"
Marie Routhier's website
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