William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
The Willbond Family – Mid 1980s: Left to Right - Joey, Connie, Barry, Pat, Bob, Wally, Brian, Mary and Billy: Front - Dad and MomAfter our family moved to Ottawa, Mom (Monica McCaffery) got a little dog, a mongrel like a Jack Russell, (she called him Bonzo) and when she would go to the butcher shop she would ask the butcher for bones for her dog.
Knowing that she had a large family of children, he would give her huge bags of beef bones (some of those beef bones were bigger than her dog). He would purposely leave a wee bit of meat clinging to the bones, none of which ever went to the dog. Mom would make Irish Stew with the bones, boiling them and digging out the marrow – she would use the beef bone broth with onions, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, carrots (all from our huge garden at the farm in Lanark).
The huge pots of stew fed us nine kids, and a host of relatives and visitors who dropped in or stayed for a week or three and a line of bums from under the bridge near the railway track.
In the late forties early fifties there were no welfare cheques, food banks or soup kitchens in the west end of Ottawa. These homeless men worked at odd jobs delivering flyers etc for a few bucks which they spent on cheap wine. Most were WW2 vets and many suffered from shell shock. Mom never turned anyone away. The bums ate what we ate, all supplied with nourishment and vitamins from the beef bones supplied for our dog by the local butcher; the dog ate stew just like us and he never was given any of the bones.
The butcher at the A&P, Mr. Reynolds, knew my mom had 9 children and he was being “charitable” when he donated the bones to our dog. What goes around comes around and that’s why I work for ICROSS and try to give something back.
My sainted Mother was a great example and when I was thinking about starting ICROSS, I opened my Mom’s Bible and looked down at the passage in Psalm 9:19: “The needy will not be forgotten, nor the hopes of the afflicted perish”. That was sufficient evidence that I was supposed to follow her example.
Others have followed and today we have people supporting ICROSS CANADA in Rhode Island, New Mexico, Australia etc, and hundreds of people across Canada are supportive of our efforts to send ease suffering and life saving medical supplies to the poorest of the poor in the global village on our battered and bleeding wee planet
©Copyright February 14, 2004 by William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD