“Of Good Report,” Ensign, July 1994, 76–77
Partridge Island is a historical island set in Saint John Harbour in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Nearby communities are joining together to restore the island, which served as a resting point for some of eastern Canada’s first settlers and as an army fortress during World War II.
Members of the Kennebecasis Ward in the Saint John New Brunswick Stake were eager to get involved with the restoration project. So they volunteered to help restore the picket fence surrounding the burial ground of early settlers who died on the island.
The only means of access to the island is by boat, so members began their day of service at the dock. Included on the day’s agenda was a brief history lesson of the island and its impact on the area.
The project was so enjoyable that many members of the Church expressed interest in continuing their involvement in the island’s restoration projects.—Karen Walker, Hampton, New Brunswick, Canada
Members recently joined forces with those of other faiths to help some single mothers living in the Millcreek Second Ward in Salt Lake City. With lawn edgers, rakes, shovels, hammers, and axes in hand, more than fifty people participated in yard cleanup efforts.
In addition, the ward activity committee provided a “barbecue break” for the volunteers one afternoon, serving more than sixty hamburgers and forty hot dogs.
The project began as an Aaronic Priesthood project, but when others showed an interest, flyers were distributed and a whole neighborhood was invited to pitch in. After the cleanup, sod was laid and sprinkler systems were installed.
Ward members, especially the youth, enjoyed the projects, reported Bishop Don Cook. And the cleanup projects will continue. “We recognize there is a great need for service,” he said.—Doug Gibson, Salt Lake City, Utah
The people of Snowflake, Arizona, have united in an effort to preserve history by restoring one of the area’s first adobe structures—the home of Latter-day Saint colonizer William Jordan Flake. Organized primarily by Church members, but with ample support from all corners of the community, the restoration efforts have culminated in the establishment of a pioneer museum.
Named the Stinson Museum after James Stinson, a cattle rancher who sold his Rancho Rio de la Plata to Brother Flake, the restored building holds home furnishings, farm equipment, and numerous artifacts authentic to the time period.
In addition, the museum is located in a historic district, a part of town dotted with buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Homes.
The restoration of the building involved many Church members and other citizens. People donated both money and time; volunteers repaired the roof, painted the walls, repaired the bathrooms, and built display shelves. One retired man glazed and painted all the outside windows of the museum.
The Flake family played a crucial part in the establishment of Snowflake, and the museum is a fitting tribute to them, notes Jo Ann Washburn, president of the Heritage and Tourism Council and Young Women secretary in the Snowflake Sixth Ward, Snowflake Arizona Stake. “Their goal was to make each family self-sufficient,” she explained. “If nurturing and giving of time or means could help people get on their feet, it was given by the Flakes.”
Fourteen years is a long time for a service project to last. But Relief Society sisters in the Hillcrest Fifth Ward, Orem Utah Hillcrest Stake, have been involved in a service project that started in 1980 and is still going strong.
Fourteen years ago, our bishop read a letter in sacrament meeting announcing the new consolidated schedule. As I sat there, alone, I realized what this change would mean to my family. My husband was home that day, tending our fourteen-year-old daughter, Melinda. However, he had been called to serve in a university ward bishopric and would need to attend meetings on the campus. Melinda has Rett’s syndrome, which causes her to become extremely agitated and vocally upset when surrounded by noise and movement. Although we had tried for years to take her to Church meetings, we had finally concluded we needed to leave her at home with my husband or me watching her. With the new schedule, I would not be able to attend Church meetings on any kind of regular basis!
I wasn’t the only one to realize my dilemma. “What will you do?” asked Marilyn Mansfield, a member of the Relief Society presidency.
“What can I do?” I replied.
I remember Sister Mansfield smiled, then replied, “Let’s see what we can do.”
That very day, Sister Mansfield stood up in Relief Society, explaining my unusual situation and proposing a solution. “Why don’t we each take a turn staying with Melinda so Sister McClure can attend her meeting. If each of us takes a turn, we’ll only miss one Sunday a year.”
A sign-up sheet was passed around, and I watched uncomfortably. Except during a few minor calamities, I was not accustomed to receiving compassionate service.
After the meeting, the Relief Society secretary handed me a sheet filled with names and phone numbers for the first three months of the ward’s new schedule. And ever since then, that’s the way it’s been. My husband completed his assignment in the university ward years ago. Our ward and stake have been divided three times. Yet the sisters still keep coming. Every three months, the sheet has been passed around, and I have received a new list of Sunday sitters. It’s now been more than 675 Sundays and counting.—Ruth L. McClure, Orem, Utah