Berwick Lions and KMCC provide shelter to displaced campers during Arthur

Nancy Kelly
Published on July 8, 2014

Members of the Berwick Lions Club were cooking up a storm July 5 for a community breakfast as post tropical storm Arthur began pounding the Valley. Submitted


While many community groups chose to cancel events scheduled for July 5 because of post tropical storm Arthur, members of the Berwick Lions Club decided to stay the course and host a planned community breakfast.

“We decided, hey why not, we are here and ready to go,” said Lion Tom Henley, who was on hand later in the day when the Lions got an emergency request to help out 150 campers forced to evacuate the United Church campgrounds in Berwick due to the intense weather system that brought heavy winds and rain to the region.

“We were just cleaning up the hall after the breakfast when we got a call from organizers of a weekend yoga festival being hosted at the campground,” explained Henley.

“They said campground management had made the decision to evacuate the camp and they needed to get out but didn't want to cancel their event.”

In 2010, the campground sustained considerable tree and facility damage when an early winter storm ripped through the area.

“Campground officials were obviously worried about the potential impact of Arthur,” said Henley.

The Lions didn’t hesitate and opened their kitchen and hall to the group. The Apple Dome arena was also made available for the group’s activities and for the campers’ overnight stay. When the power went out mid-afternoon a generator on the arena side kept the activities flowing smoothly, even allowing for an evening concert at the venue.

As the Lions’ Wilson Family Community Centre is not connected to the generator, the kitchen was off limits after power was lost, but club members set up barbecues outdoors in a sheltered area of the KMCC, allowing yoga participants to warm up their evening meal, which had been prepared in advance.

“It all worked out for everybody and the club was glad we were here to extend a hand when it was needed,” added Henley.