Huu-ay-aht First Nations Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. presents a cheque for $1,000 to Kimmie MacDonald for the ‘Taking Care Of…Uu a thluk’ community dinner. PHOTO COURTESY JEFFREY COOK

Port Alberni comes together for community Christmas dinner

Businesses, individuals show true meaning of ‘Uu-a-thluk’

No one deserves to eat alone—or worse, not eat at all—on Christmas Day. A group of Port Alberni residents agree, so they got together and have revived the community Christmas dinner.

Taking Care Of…Uu-a-thluk Community Dinner is planned for Monday, Dec. 25, from 1–4 p.m. at the Alberni Athletic Hall. Everyone is invited.

Yes, everyone. Dinner spokespeople Jeffrey Cook and Kimmie MacDonald said organizers are anticipating as many as 500 people will show up for this dinner.

“We have a lot of homeless and low income people that are lonely, or with no friends or family in town,” says MacDonald.

The event began two years ago when Brian Calm of The Pizza Factory learned there would be no Christmas dinner on Dec. 25 at the Bread of Life, like there had been in past years. Bread of Life had decided to do its dinner on a different day.

Calm and his legion of volunteers served 200 people at The Pizza Factory two years ago, but there was no dinner last year. Cook approached him last summer about reviving the community Christmas dinner, and Calm said if someone else would take the lead, he would support it wholeheartedly. So Cook, MacDonald and Val Bellwood took it on.

From there, it snowballed. Calm and his staff will cook the turkeys, potatoes and vegetables with assistance from staff at Little Valley Deli and Bucksnorts Bar and Grill. The Athletic Hall Association donated the hall, and Save-On-Foods donated $1,500 in food at reduced rates. Citizens are volunteering, other businesses have come forward with donations of all kinds, and volunteers have come forward willing to help out.

“It’s taken on a life of its own,” Cook said.

“Meals on Wheels will deliver hot meals to fire, ambulance, police and hospital workers,” Cook said.

There is no registration required to come to dinner: just show up.

A wrapping party was held on Tuesday, to make sure all the gifts were wrapped; they’re trying to have a gift for everyone who attends.

A Christmas tree will be set up in the hall and Cook and MacDonald are asking people coming for dinner to bring an ornament or a card to hang on the tree. “They don’t have to be store-bought,” Cook said. “That can be their contribution to dinner.”

Cook and MacDonald are still looking for some entertainment for the dinner. Donations are also still being accepted. Updates for the event are being made on social media, but for more information, e-mail Cook at jeff.cook1950@icloud.com. MacDonald can be reached at kimmie_macdonald@hotmail.com.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Language revitalization pole to stay in Port Alberni

Strong community interest leads to change of plans, says First Nations Education Foundation

Salmon Fest derby ticket wins Alberni man $1,000

The last winner of the 48th Port Alberni Salmon Festival has finally… Continue reading

VIDEO: Frequent closures on only highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet expected to continue until Summer of 2020

“We’ve had 400 blasts to date and moved nearly 90,000 cubic metres of material.”

Man stabbed in Port Alberni park

RCMP dog team called out to search for attacker

Alberni business nominated for two Ecostar awards

Second year for Social Root Consulting to be nominated in Social Impact category

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read