Sri Lanka tragedy

MR DREW Broadley, Hillside, was the guest at the recent meeting of Montrose and District Probus Club.

He explained how, in 2005, his son, Alistair, now living in Glasgow, was keen to put his Christianity into practical action and decided to go out to Sri Lanka which had been badly affected by the Tsunami at the end of the previous December.

Alistair was involved with a non-Governmental Organisation known as LEADS (Lanka Evangelical and Development Services), helping to re-build the shattered communities. He invited Drew to come out and give a helping hand, which he did.

Members were fascinated by the slides showing the devastation caused by the Tsunami in the Southern area of the island. Altogether almost 79,000 homes were totally destroyed, and around 50,000 more were partially destroyed.

The problem of accommodating victims was immense. One lady, working as an interpreter, had 50 homeless people in her modest bungalow.

Tents and shelters were erected while the organisation, with the help of aid from other countries, was able to construct more substantial dwellings. Even in temporary camps, children were neatly dressed with pride in their appearance.

It was hoped to build 1,200 homes to alleviate the problems caused by the Tsunami. Alistair raised over £7,000 from a sponsored cycle run and hill climb and used a lot of that money to build a badly-needed bridge.

Readers who may remember Sugarth, who worked at the Links Hotel, will be pleased to know that he bought beds and furniture for many of these houses with money donated by local folk here, and Probus members saw a colourful banner with the Sri Lankan flag and the Saltire, announcing that these gifts were donated by the citizens of Montrose for the Tsunami Relief Fund.

Charlie Minty proposed thanks.