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Community pooling together for flood-affected senior

Drivers charge through deep waters in front of Kal Tire in Lumby after Duteau and Bessette Creeks flooded.
Image Credit: Contributed/ Suzanne Smith
July 05, 2013 - 3:38 PM

LUMBY - In the wake of a flood which caused heavy damage to homes and properties, the community is coming together to buoy up a man who lost his house, and many of his belongings.

The same weather system that brought immense flooding to Alberta also took a toll on the Village of Lumby, where Duteau and Bessette Creeks swelled and overflowed in the heavy rainfall. A Lumby senior who rents a house in town always gets hit hard by flooding, residents in the community say. Every year, he can be seen pumping the water out of his house. But this year, the damage was beyond repair.

"His house has to be demolished," says Wylie Barker, manager of Kal Tire, located right across the street.

Arthur Aubin is a well-known character in the village, and while many don't even know his last name, they are eager to help him out.

Barker has been working in Lumby for a year, and already, 72-year-old Arthur has made quite an impression on him. Arthur scrupulously tends his front yard garden and comes in for coffee at the store on a regular basis. Barker describes him as laid-back and a bit shy. Not the kind of person who would ever ask for help.

"Someone tried to give him a TV once, he wouldn't take it. He said he'd gone so long without one, why would he need one now," Barker says.

One can only imagine Arthur's situation.

"I don't know what he's going to do," Barker says. "He's a senior, he has no family really or relatives... He's having to start over at 72, not in the best health. It's not the easiest thing to do."

"I just felt bad," he says. "There are thousands of people in Alberta who have been flooded out, you have to do what you can."

Moved by Arthur's situation, Barker has set up a bank account and trust fund at Scotia Bank for him, and is putting on a benefit barbeque this Saturday at the Kal Tire on Shuswap Avenue in Lumby. Food and drinks are being supplied by Sheardowns, and Kal Tire will have a DJ for entertainment. The event and food is all by donation, and all proceeds will go to Arthur's bank account.

"I think Arthur's a pretty proud guy," Barker says. "This isn't a hand out, it's a hand up so he lands back on his feet."

The barbeque will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For those who can't make it, or wish to donate directly to Arthur's account, deposits can be made at any Scotia Bank to account #: 401700231827, transit #40170 in the name of Arthur Aubin.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston

Flooding in the back parking lot of the Sheardowns grocery store in Lumby on June 21.
Flooding in the back parking lot of the Sheardowns grocery store in Lumby on June 21.
Image Credit: Contributed/ Suzanne Smith
News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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