By Andru McCracken


the new trailer is lowered into position by the experts at Blue Mountain Transport. As expected it goes off without a hitch, with room below for Shaw to connect the services. Levelling the ground below the new trailer took 10 loads of gravel. /ANDRU MCCRACKEN

An elderly couple in Dunster have a new home thanks to the generosity and kindness of a huge swath of people in the valley and beyond.

Ike and Lil MacKinnon have been married for 72 years and they lived in the same Glendale mobile home since the 1970s.

It was damaged when they bought it, but they got it for a good price. It’s been a solid home for many years, but lately it was showing its age.

Derrick Shaw, a neighbour, was over for tea one day and noticed the years of water damage on parts of the trailer.

“It was in terrible shape,” said Shaw.

Shaw is no stranger to getting the community engaged and working productively to help people out— he’s led many trips of high school students to Mexico to build homes for families there. This project was closer to home.

Shaw set to work raising funds to get the MacKinnon’s a new home and people pitched in from far and wide.

Ultimately he found a replacement at a good price from Jason Wiltsie on Mountain View Road in McBride. Blue Mountain Transport set the trailer in place.

The trailer is in position, and the ground has been brought up level and dry (an old underground cold room needed to be removed from the trailer pad first).

As of Thursday there was still a lot of work to do, including a fresh coat of paint on the inside, hooking up the plumbing, electrical, installing the skirting and attaching the outbuildings.

When Lillian walked into the trailer for the first time, she noticed the difference in width.

“That’s a lot more cupboard space than I had in the other one,” she said in the bright airy kitchen.

“It’ll take a while to get used to it, but we’ll sort it.”

During their first walk through, Ike is mostly silent. It’s a lot to take in. Lil is upbeat, “It’ll take a while to get used to it, but we’ll sort it.” /ANDRU MCCRACKEN

Lil said that Shaw has worked very hard and is very grateful to him.

As they were outside the trailer she told him, “If I win the lottery, you’ll get half.”

Shaw’s been happy with the support.

“It has been an incredible experience to see how many people came together in such a short time to make this project happen for the MacKinnons,” he said.

If you didn’t have a chance to contribute there are still some outstanding expenses that have come up since the fundraiser closed, including a new electrical service and re-shingling the roof.