On November 25, at 3 AM, a fire broke out at Leslie & Brian Wilson’s house on the 4th Concession. Retired and in their mid-70s, Leslie was born a Stephenson - of Stephenson Rd. Her dad, Ken, was one of the early stalwarts in the Newcastle Historical Society and Leslie has also been an active member of the society for many years; many of you will have seen or talked to her in recent years if you've dropped by the Historical Room at the Community Hall. She was there almost every day (even when it wasn’t open) before COVID, helping people with enquiries and research. She is our walking encyclopedia of all things historical in and around Newcastle.
While they escaped without injury, their house was damaged beyond repair and they lost absolutely everything except what they were wearing. The property is owned by Leslie’s cousin and the contents of the house were not insured. They’re now staying at the Twin Oaks Motel and friends and neighbours have dropped off some clothing and food for them, but they will need far more as they reestablish themselves.
There are some very specific immediate needs - Brian’s glasses were lost in the fire, for instance - but they will also need help with first and last month's rent (once accommodation is found) and replacing all of their household goods.
If you have any questions or wish to ask about other ways to donate, please don't hesitate to contact us.
- Jean Rickard
- Sheila Johnston
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