Canadian Volunteers Helping A Long Beach Man Clean Up - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Canadian Volunteers Helping A Long Beach Man Clean Up

The recent cold snap that has the rest of Mississippi shivering, is a breath of fresh air for these men.

"Oh this is absolutely amazing," exclaims Mat Lawson of Ontario Canada. "A great way to spend the winter."

These Canadians from Ontario and Quebec work for Bell Canada, but they're contracted out to Bellsouth to help repair phone lines downed by hurricane Katrina.

"We've been working on a 13 day rotation," says Lawson. "So it's 13 strait and one 1 off, and today's their day off."

And they're spending that one day of rest, helping their new friend Harvey Davenport, an employee at Bellsouth who lost his home to the winds of Katrina.

"They said it would save them money because if they weren't working they'd be out spending their money," jokes Davenport.

The Long Beach man plans to rebuild on the foot print of his collapsed home. Thanks to his new friends efforts he'll now be able to go ahead with his plans.

"It means a lot. It saves us a lot of time, lots of time. Because if I had to do it in my spare time it would have took me forever," says Davenport.

The Canadians, especially those from French speaking Quebec, admit that some parts of the southern dialect are lost in translation.

"All the contractions you do, and ya'll, and things like that," says one of them.

But the meaning of their actions and this new found friendship is crystal clear.

"We are very proud to be here and help our friend Harvey," he says.

"I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I'm sure my wife is the same," says Davenport. "I've known them now for 4 months and they are great friends to me.

Friendships that have made that 13 hundred mile distance from home seem a whole lot closer.

"I know when I come back to visit I'll have a nice place to stay," says Lawson.

By Don Culpepper

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