By anguillian March 30, 2015 11:01



Lending a helping hand from St Peter's Church, Florida

Lending a helping hand from St Peter’s Church, Florida

old boys school 2Even from a far off, the old Valley Boys’ School, more than 100 years old, stands out as an attractive symbol of Anguilla’s elementary educational pursuits by the Anglican Church, especially now that it has undergone, so far, a most welcome renovation and facelift.

The work was undertaken, at the invitation of the Rt. Reverend Errol Brooks, by a 17-male team from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Spokesman, Mr. Jim Corbett, told media representatives: “A group in our church, for the past thirty years have come to the North East Caribbean and Aruba to try to lend a helping hand. It is the second trip to Anguilla. We have been to Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis on several occasions and even one trip to Dominica through the years, working on Anglican churches or buildings.”

Mr. Corbett was asked what the work on the old Boys’ School entailed. “Basically, all the old shingles are gone and replaced by new shingles and we made some repairs to the structure of the church,” he stated. Replying to a question as to what was the condition of the building, he explained: “As old as the building is, it was in pretty good shape; a lot of the wood they used when it was built, was evidently good wood; but some of the shingles which some people believe were on for as long as a hundred years, were in bad shape. The structure of the building wasn’t too bad, but we had to replace some beams and some of the floor boards. Other than that, the structure of the building was remarkable, as old as it is.”
Mr. Corbett continued: “We will continue working until Friday of this week and on Saturday we have to go home. If we don’t complete it, guess what: our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in Anguilla, I am sure, are more than capable of finishing the job.”

According to him, the team was able to undertake and finance the repair work from a fundraising effort. “What we do in our church back home is a big fundraiser once a year… a seafood dish of shrimp, corn and potatoes,” he said. “We sell tickets and the persons in our church and community come and enjoy a good meal and fellowship and support a good cause. The money we raise is sent down here [to the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba] to buy building materials, and each person from the group that comes to the region pays his own airfare and then the local people are nice enough to find places for us to stay and to provide us with food. It is a great trip for us and a lot of camaraderie and, as I said, it is a great way for us to lend a helping hand. St. Augustine said ‘Preach the Gospel at all times and use works if necessary’, so we came down here to preach the Gospel with our hands.”

Mr. Corbett, a commercial fisherman, said the members of the team were not professional builders, but, for the most part, were retirees from such professions as architect, engineer, mechanic, doctor, IBM computer specialist, Verizon Telephone technician and industrial salesman.

Mr. Corbett added: “We have a variety of folks who are just trying to help out and to have a good time. The hospitality in the West Indies is always very good but, to be truthful with you, we find that Anguilla is the best.”
Among those on the team is the newly-appointed Curate at the St. Peter’s Church, Rev. Christopher Capaldo, 26, who has also been assisting with services at St. Mary’s and St. Andrew’s. In a ringing voice, charged with energy, enthusiasm and fervour, he commented:

“It is absolutely wonderful and a blessing to come down as part of this team. It is very blessed to be part of a church that can do things like this, and to work with Bishop Brooks in some of the services at St. Mary’s and St. Andrew – and to experience fellowship within the wider body of Christ. As Christians, we can work together to get things done and support each other in our life in Christ.”
Asked to comment on the renovation of the old Boys’ School, the property of the Anglican Church, Bishop Brooks said that the clergy and the parishioners were extremely grateful to the members of the visiting team from St. Peter’s Church for their generosity in paying their own passages to Anguilla; their free labour; and for purchasing, containerising and shipping the building materials to Anguilla. Likewise, he said the clergy and the parishioners were delighted to have had the opportunity to house and feed the team.
The Bishop was of the view that the team’s visit was an example to workmen in Anguilla to contribute their time and energy towards various aspects of community work and service without thought of monetary reward. He suggested that Anguillian workmen should even think about travelling off-island, within the Caribbean region, to render any necessary assistance with projects of one kind or another.

“Once again, on behalf of the clergy and parishioners, I offer my gratitude to the team from St. Peter’s Church for their work in Anguilla,” Bishop Brooks added.

By anguillian March 30, 2015 11:01


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