Church collects for tsunami hit islands

PUBLISHED: 07:41 12 April 2007 | UPDATED: 21:39 29 May 2010

The bell being rung by Rev Leslie Boseto in Boeboe village

The bell being rung by Rev Leslie Boseto in Boeboe village

CHURCH-GOERS have begun collecting funds for a region which was devastated by last week s tsunami. The disaster struck the Solomon Islands, but fortunately passed by the village of Boeboe, in Choiseul Province, which has had close ties with Dunmow s Unite

CHURCH-GOERS have begun collecting funds for a region which was devastated by last week's tsunami.

The disaster struck the Solomon Islands, but fortunately passed by the village of Boeboe, in Choiseul Province, which has had close ties with Dunmow's United Reformed Church since 1995.

URC secretary Joyce Wood said "We were all very concerned when we heard about the tsunami, and wanted to do something to help the villages around the area that have been devastated.

"So the church has been collecting money to send to the Solomon Islands."

The two area's ties were formed when the people of Boeboe made an appeal for a church bell for their new church through the United Reformed Church magazine The Reform.

The URC had been given the bell from the Philpott End Mission Hall when it was closed and converted into a house in the 1970s, but the bell has simply been stored and the church thought it would be good to send it to the village.

The bell was duly dispatched, and the church has maintained links with the village ever since.

In 2002, Church Elder Mark Gayler went to the Solomon Islands to visit Boeboe.

He said: "When I went to Boeboe I flew to Gizo, and then went from there to Boeboe by boat. So when I heard about the devastation in Gizo last week I was certain that Boeboe would also have been affected.

"Fortunately we have had news that Boeboe has got away lightly, but it is tragic that Gizo and many of the surrounding villages have suffered so much."

Polini Boseto, one of the island's residents sent an e-mail to Mr Gayler to keep Dunmow updated with what had happened when the wave hit.

In it she said: "In Choiseul, in the village of Sasamuga and the villages east of that more than 500 homes have been destroyed and more than 2000 made homeless. It is very sad.

"Boeboe and the nearby villages around that area felt some effect of the earthquake and had tidal waves come in land. The waves came through Boeboe but no significant damages were reported; luckily.

"But the villages of Rigru and Taparai are washed out, with three deaths confirmed - two men, and one elderly person, and one death from Rigru, a five year old girl, 15 houses washed out from Masuru, and four people are missing.

"One of the missing or dead includes Bishop Zako - who had gone to Simbo to ordain a new minister."

Anyone wanting to support the appeal, can send money to Phil Milne, church treasurer, at Town View, Rosemary Lane, Dunmow, Essex CM6 1DW.

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