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Community rising up to assist families affected by Pubnico Head fire

Praying for Pubnico reads the sign outside the Calvary United Baptist Church in Woods Harbour.
Praying for Pubnico reads the sign outside the Calvary United Baptist Church in Woods Harbour. - Kathy Johnson

Outpouring of kind gestures and donations gaining momentum

YARMOUTH COUNTY - A groundswell of donations is gaining momentum for the families affected by the horrendous fire that claimed the lives of four children in Pubnico Head in the early hours of Jan. 7.

The tragedy is on the minds of many in the province and beyond. Closer to home, action is underway to assist those who lost their children and home to fire.

Tri County Mental Health & Wellness mental health support worker Brenda Martin-Hurlburt has offered 24-hour grief/trauma support to anyone reaching out for help.

When reached by phone, she said she had just taken half an hour to lay down to recoup. Calls had been non-stop.

“A lot of people are distraught. Many people are connected,” she said.

“I’m happy that people are using the service and I expect to be busy for several months."

The Municipality of Argyle issued a press release on Tuesday, Jan. 9.



Nicholas Williams, disaster management co-ordinator for the Canadian Red Cross, says the organization has been providing the parents with the emergency social service that they typically supply.

"That can be in the realm of emergency food, clothing and personal services. We are working with the community to pass the message on of different community groups that are coming together to help these families as well."

Devin Kennedy, who is first cousin to one of the mothers of the children lost to fire, has been overwhelmed by offers since announcing he was co-ordinating donations.

“I’ve been trying to work all day, but I’ve been sitting at the wharf here for two hours just answering my phone trying to get down to a boat to fix it,” he said.

“We’ve had clothing donated, table and chairs, numerous e-transfers…”

The e-transfers will be divided between the parents in the blended families.

The fishing captain of one of the fathers who lost his child to the fire contacted Kennedy and suggested putting one crate on each lobster car in the area for fishermen who wanted to toss a few lobsters in each for the families.

Mikaela Sweeney has offered to cook meals for the families and have them collected by one of the relations.

Charles MacIsaac, managing funeral director at Sweeny’s Funeral Home and Crematorium, says their business, H.M. Huskilson’s Funeral Homes and Crematorium, as well as the West Pubnico Funeral Home, are accepting donations on the families’ behalf at each location. The businesses have also agreed that whichever funeral service the families turn to, there will be no charges for any of the services.

“We all talked about it and we all feel that we want to cooperate and act as one,” he said.

Bruce Muise, managing director at Huskilson’s, agreed.

“At times like this it’s not about making money, it’s about seeing families through,” he said.

Fisherman Jason Boudreau posted on the LFA 33 & 34 Facebook Page that he wanted to help out the families so he had decided to donate his pay from his next trip out fishing.

“I know money is tight for a lot of us but just thought I would post this here in hopes that maybe some other fishermen would possibly be able to donate also,” he wrote.

Krissie Penney-Wyman is advertising a yoga/meditation fundraiser at the Beacon hall in Yarmouth. All are welcome to attend and donations will be directed to the families affected by the fire.

‎Morgan Penney‎ with Fizz Bizz Bath and Beauty has organized a draw of her products for the cause. Those donating $10 are entered for the gift basket and a quarter of the total raised. The remainder of the amount raised will be directed towards the families.

Holly LeBlanc is selling tickets on a large Norwex mop and other items for $10 a ticket. All proceeds will be donated to the families. The draw is Jan. 15. She is also donating a week’s commission.

Brittany Evan Titus (Digby area) with BLM Designs is accepting donations. For every $10 donation your name will be entered into a draw for personalized items valued $60 total. All of the money raised will be donated to the families.

Offers of Assistance

Accounts In Trust have been opened at the Credit Union and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) under the name “Pubnico Fire Relief Fund”. Anyone can make a donation at any Credit Union or RBC branch in Atlantic Canada using that name. The funds will be administered with the help of the Municipality of Argyle EMO Coordinator and local community members.
2. The Argyle municipal office will be taking the names and numbers of those interested in providing items to those affected. As the specific needs are still uncertain, the municipality will keep an inventory of those items and coordinate as the need arises. Those interested can call (902) 648-2314.

A GoFundMe account has been started by a relative: Rod Hand of Conception Bay South, NL

Reach Tri County Mental Health & Wellness mental health support worker Brenda Martin-Hurlburt 24/7 at 902-266-9891

Devin Kennedy, first cousin to one of the mothers of the children lost to the fire, and owner of Mechanical Mayhem in Wedgeport is accepting donations (clothing, gift cards etc.) to help those impacted by the fire. Donations can be new or used clothing (men’s size 3X for shirts and jackets, jeans 38x34 length and size 11 shoe) dropped off at his shop Mechanical Mayhem: 1960 highway 334, Upper Wedgeport. He is also accepting etransfers to

Donations accepted at:

Sweeny’s Funeral Home 902-742-3245

Monday to Friday, 8:30-4:30 and after hours if staff is on hand.

Huskilson’s Funeral Home

Yarmouth: 29 Albert St. 902-742-3626

Barrington: 2821 Hwy #3 902-637-2247

Shelburne: 58 Bulkley St. 902-875-2368

West Pubnico Funeral Home: 1125 Rte# 335 Middle West Pubnico 902-762-3407

A Facebook group called Let’s Help Pubnico Families Fundraiser Online Auction has a fundraiser underway. The auction runs until Wed., Jan. 17, at 5 p.m. Items are being accepted, as well as gift certificates for services and cash donations. For more information or to help call 902-881-2134.

Amanda Mackay is selling earrings and donating the money

Yoga in Yarmouth event: Jan 18, 6-7 p.m. at Beacon Hall, 25 Beacon St. Yarmouth. Free will donation for the families.

Fizz Bizz Bath and Beauty draw by Morgan Penney will take place Sunday, Jan. 14. $10 ticket; Etransfers can be made to

Holly LeBlanc - Norwex mop draw - Tickets $10. Draw date: Jan. 15; Etransfer to

Brittany Evan Titus (Digby area) with BLM Designs $10 ticket for personalized items. 902-307-1253 Etransfer to 

Lynette Hayward-Byrd – step grandmother to Mason, one of the children lost to the fire, asks that anyone planning a fundraiser contact her: Phone: 902-774-2904; Email or Facebook messenger or email another relative coordinating fundraising efforts Devin Kennedy

If other businesses, individuals or organizations are planning a fundraising initiative, please inbox us the details on our Facebook Page and we will add the info to our list.

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