Volunteers rally to help build new Kingdom Hall
© Bonnie Learning
Joel Therrien (left) and Mark Vandenberg are two of the volunteers helping construct a new Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The new hall is located on Churchill Street.
Volunteer members of several Jehovah's Witnesses organizations are in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for the next six weeks to help build a new Kingdom Hall.
The new hall will replace their old one, which was located on Cartwright Road.
Mark Vandenberg is a member of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Jehovah's Witness Hall. He said many of the volunteers are giving of their own vacation time to come to town to help with the foundation work.
"All the workers, all the building materials - everything is completely voluntary," said Vandenberg.
"We have volunteers here from Goose Bay, Labrador City and Quebec City - there are some communication issues (with Quebec volunteers), but we all respect each other and we work well together."
Joel Therrien is a member of the Labrador City Jehovah's Witnesses.
Despite the ongoing fire situation in his region, he still felt the need to come to Happy Valley-Goose Bay and help in the new build.
"In 2006, we had volunteers come from Goose Bay to help build our new hall in Labrador City," he said.
"We started that building on a Monday, and by Saturday, it was completely finished and ready to use."
Therrien said it is that spirit of community that prompted him and other volunteers to help.
"This is a privilege to be able to come here and do this," he said. "We have this brotherhood world-wide, to build stuff like this. We wanted to help our brothers and sisters in Goose Bay.
"That is the mark of a true Christian - love one another."
Therrian noted Jehovah's Witnesses help out in all kinds of natural disaster situations as well.
"A team was formed after the flooding (in Alberta) right away, to re-build all the homes of our brothers and sisters who lost their homes.
"We don't just say we'll do something; we live by actions. It's self-sacrifice - money, vacation time - to commit to helping others."
Therrian explained it normally takes a week to build a new Kingdom Hall - after all the behind-the-scenes planning is complete. However, this build in particular, he said, is different.
"There is actually another build taking place at the same time, at St. Pierre et Miquelon, that is identical in scope to the one here in Goose Bay.
"The team at St. Pierre et Miquelon will be framing their building the first week of August, then they will be coming here to do the same. And when they get here, the team we have here now will leave."
Therrien said the plan is to have the new Kingdom Hall in Goose Bay fully completed and ready for use by August 31.
He added everyone in Goose Bay has been very accommodating to them since arriving in the community.
"Our brothers and sisters opened their homes to us to stay, even offered their own beds, which we refused, of course," he laughed. "We are having a good time, good home-cooked food and good recreation."