The bionic Saint

Photo: Evan Brockett

It’s hard to find positive news so let me tell you how Saints show up in the weirdest places. I have spent many hours over the past decade picking up litter on Arbor Vitae Road, another family member collects on parts of Paugh Lake Road, and still other family clean up along the ATV/Snowmobile trails. It feels good to think we are doing something for the community, it is good exercise, and a great way to meet people. Sometimes it can be exhausting, so imagine doing it with a walker.

Recently I, and several residents, have noticed a conscientious Lady doing just that on Hwy 60 west of Barry’s Bay, but she requires the assistance of a walker to get around. This stretch of the highway is particularly bad for garbage because many people going to the landfill do not secure their load, and of course some just don’t care what they throw on the roadways. On Friday morning she was at it again and had amassed a sizable garbage bag, and was on her way back to town, with the 15 pound bag on top of her walker.

I had to stop and thank her for her efforts, relieve her of the bag, and introduce myself. I also asked if I could take her picture and send it to the paper, and request the Pope consider her for Sainthood. She did not really want her picture in the paper and explained she is no Saint. Some people may not agree with her declining the Saint title. She was pleased to hear that the Carson, Trout, Lepine and Greenan Lakes Association is in the process of joining the “Adopt A Hwy” program with the Ministry of Transportation and the “Adopt A Road” program with the County of Renfrew. These will include a section of Hwy 60 along Carson and Trout Lakes, and part of Siberia Road. She did allow me to snap a picture and use it on the CTLG Lakes website, and asked only to be identified as JBM. I imagine most Saints are bashful like that.

I have no idea what the “J” and “M” stand for, but I am sure the “B” is for Bionic. JBM advised she has had to get a few body parts replaced over the years and therefore requires the walker. She also advised she recently picked-up along Hwy 60, turned down Martin Siding Road, Cybulski Road, Hildebrandt Street and back to town.

With a walker! Picking litter! It took her 8 hours! WOW!

Yes, Sainthood seems appropriate. It’s great that there are dedicated residents like JBM and Garnet Foster (who is known to just about everyone in Barry’s Bay for the work he does) in the community to clean up after those who are less considerate of our environment and each other.

Please do not litter and secure your load when going to the landfill.