DUNROBIN – It was a whirlwind visit for the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada as she visited Dunrobin this morning (Sept. 18) to get an update on the community’s recovery from last fall’s tornado.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau was the guest of Member of Parliament and federal Liberal candidate Karen McCrimmon this morning who brought Trudeau to the Heart and Soul Café to meet with community members and community leaders before going on a brief tour of Dunrobin, getting a first-hand look at the still ongoing recovery process, just four days before the one year anniversary of the tornado.
About 35 invited guests were at the Heart and Soul Café to meet the Spouse of the Prime Minister in person. McCrimmon did the introductions.
“I want to begin by saying thank you to all of you,” McCrimmon told the gathered group. “To Jim and Jodie Bowen (owners of the Heart and Soul) you have been an anchor for this community. We know how much you care for this community and I hope you know how much this community cares for you. I look around this room and see so many community members who have helped out through this community’s challenges.”
McCrimmon says she has had the opportunity to meet Trudeau more than a few times.
“Her heart is so big, and she has so much generosity and compassion to give,” McCrimmon said.
Trudeau insisted on “no madames,” before greeting each and everyone in attendance personally.
“I hope you are clapping for humanity being inherently good,” she told the audience breaking up the applause. “When the tornado struck, I told our kids, these are our neighbours, this is in our backyard. I took the kids to see what had happened and we couldn’t believe it.”
Trudeau said there is no escaping the emotions of such a significant disaster.
“We’re here to serve,” she said of the Prime Minister and herself. “Recognizing others suffering and to have that compassion and wearing that suffering. Human goodness wins every time. I want to thank you for reaching out and helping each other. I don’t know you personally, but I care for you in my heart. Thank you for welcoming me in to your community.”
Sarah Barrowclough-Bowen of Valley Merchant Outlet and Heart of the Valley Gifts in Dunrobin presented Trudeau with a canoe paddle made from reclaimed wood from the tornado made by Dunrobin artist Alan Smart.
Following Trudeau’s address, she spent more time talking one-on-one with those in attendance before heading to Porcupine Trail to visit some of the homes currently being repaired or rebuilt. Resident Emily Glossop-Nicholson gave Trudeau a tour of her family’s home as it is rebuilt from the ground up.
Back at the Heart and Soul, another celebrity dropped by near the end of Trudeau’s visit – Leo Muldoon.
It was a special day for Muldoon – his 79th birthday. The 30 or so still in the
café sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for the birthday boy. Muldoon says his plans for his special day is to “do nothing.”
Muldoon was one of a small handfull of West Carleton residents injured by last year’s tornado. He no longer has to go to the hospital but is still hard at work at a gym in Bell’s Corners rehabbing his injury. He says he will be ready for the upcoming plowing season when the snow finally falls.