Building community, building partnerships, building friendship and collaboration. And building a volunteer’s back deck.
Here’s how it happened. Lesley, an OH Board member and apartment volunteer, needed repairs to her creaking back deck and called upon Billy, a resident in apartment 4 who is looking to study architecture, to see what could be done. He thought he could tackle that, he said. So plans were made and dates were set.
Into the picture then comes new resident, André, who had years and years of construction experience behind him, and the two put their hands and heads together, demolished the old deck in a matter of hours and came up with a blueprint.
Next morning, off we all trot with one bicycle and backpacks to the local lumber store, Marcil’s, to place the order: wood, screws, stain, etc. The salesman was very, very patient as with each item ordered André explained to Billy why we needed it and Billy was in learning mode – but the queue behind us was getting longer by the minute and we were forced to shorten the explanations and complete the purchase.
The wood arrived that same evening and Billy, the artist, was there next morning, before it got too hot, to start staining the first planks to be laid. However, before planks were screwed into position, André noticed that over half – including some of the stained ones! – were warped!
Back at the lumber store: André explained the situation and admitted several were stained! The Manager was visibly not pleased and admitted he did not usually take back stained or painted wood but I think he saw we were amateurs and took pity on us. Whatever the reason, he kindly took back the warped wood and dispatched straight planks. They now lie snugly together forming a beautiful new deck that can host Our Harbour parties or picnics or a simple meal between OH volunteers and/or residents.
All thanks to Billy and André and my sincere gratitude to Monsieur Yvan Laroque, Manager of Marcil, Saint-Lambert, for his understanding and kindness. Thanks, too, to Peter Woodruff of Our Harbour for assistance.