BREAKERS — timely tidbits

BREAKERS – timely tidbits and follow-ups to previously published stories:

  • School restart – Town Hall meeting August 20
  • Hesham refugee fund boosted by locals, family worries about relatives caught in Beirut blast
  • QB songwriting workshop

School restart – Town Hall meeting August 20

The School District 69 Board held a special public meeting on August 12, 2020 via Zoom (recording available) to discuss the September restart of classes as documented in the Briefing Note from Superintendent Keven Elder included with the meeting agenda.

A Question and Answer document was published the following day, and a follow-up Town Hall type public meeting via Zoom is planned for August 20, 2020 at 6:00 PM. Both the Q&A document and the Zoom link for the August 20 Town Hall meeting can be found at the SD69 website.

Hesham refugee fund boosted by locals, family worries about relatives in Beirut

Hesham Alhbeo, his wife Noor and their children in Turkey.

We reported in a previous article, QB can bring family reunion closer, that the Syrian family who relocated here in December 2017 with the assistance of the Qualicum Refugee Sponsorship Group is now hoping to reunite with family members. While Bader Al Faraj and his wife Samar Hbayo have settled in well with their children, Samar’s brother Hesham and his wife Noor and their two children are in a refugee camp in Turkey after a harrowing ordeal fleeing the war still raging in Syria.

John Smith, Chair of the Hesham Refugee Sponsorship Group (HRSG) reports that there is good news, but also some worries. “We are so sorry to hear about the tragedy in Beirut,” says Smith. “It has hit close to home,” he says. Bader’s family are refugees living in Beirut and some family members were injured in the explosion. Everybody is okay although, as we can all imagine, life is now even more difficult.”

The good news, says Smith, is that while HRSG is still short of the full amount needed to sponsor the family for one year, “we have raised more than $10,000 from seniors who were able to ‘pay forward’ their federal one-time tax-free COVID OAS benefit to our HRSG fund.” Word is spreading about the family’s efforts to reunite. Samar, who did not speak English when she arrived in Canada 2.5 years ago, was interviewed by CTV Vancouver Island, for a story that aired on August 10.

QB songwriting workshop August 29

Billy Shakespeare says, “So you want to be a rock ‘n’ roll star? Start by being a better songwriter.” Billy Shakespeare’s Tea, Tales and Tunes at 133 West Second Avenue in Qualicum Beach, is a self-described “haven for tea drinkers, book lovers, tune listeners, artists, musicians, vagabonds and raconteurs….” Billy’s organizing a songwriting workshop for anyone interested in polishing their talent.

Bring your own songs and learn the secrets of songwriting from two seasoned professionals. Steve Mitchell has had 15 years experience as a professional songwriter in Nashville, and Mick Sherlock (we’re not making these names up) is a former songwriter with the CBC.

COVID protocols will be in place. Tickets are $35. Call 403.608.7280 for more information.