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The Independent December 5 : Page 1

Vol. 1, Issue 14 Electrocution victim returns to Alvinston to say thanks Heather Wright The Independent He may have seen dozens of horrific accidents and fire scenes over 40 years but Jim Hayter says one incident is burned into his memor--young men scattered on the ground after being electrocuted. Hayter, the former chief of the Alvinston Volunteer Fire Department and current firefighter, was honoured Saturday for four decades of service including the tragic incident Aug. 1. Hayter was among the firefighters who went to the home on LaSalle Line to find what he calls “a war scene” with four young men lying motionless on the ground who had been electrocuted after the pole of an outdoor tent they were erecting for a weekend wedding hit a hydro line. One man, 21-year-old Jeremy Bowley lay dead. Hayter helped paramedics as they tried to revive a 17-year old member of the tent crew, Shawn McLeish of London, one of three seriously injured. McLeish lay in a coma for four days before he woke. Then, he knew nothing of what happened. Shawn McLeish After several days, he learned of the team leader’s death. Over the past six months, McLeish has recovered, but he cannot forget the volunteer firefighters who responded that day and saved his life. So it was fitting McLeish and his mother were on hand as Nelly Green of the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office presented Hayter with his 40-year service bars Saturday night during Brooke-Alvinston’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Standing together for a few minutes before the presentation, Hayter and McLeish talked for the first time. “I still don’t understand why it happened,” McLeish told Hayter as he expressed his amazement that volunteers would come out to such a difficult call. Free of Charge ~ Read and Enjoy! Thursday, December 5, 2013 “My family thanks you because of you, I’m here for Christmas.” Wyoming singer belts one out for her dad Heather Wright The Independent When she was just a child, Heather Klazinga would sing four-part harmony with her dad George and the rest of her family while doing dishes. Saturday night, she had a chance to sing for her dad as her bands, Painkiller Jane and Scotch Prophets headlined Jammin’ for George – a benefit for Wyoming Firefighter George Klazinga. Klazinga has been an active volunteer in Wyoming for years as a firefighter, in his church and in the community for events such as Kylie’s Kause. But two years ago, he began feeling ill. For the past year he’s been in and out of the hospital as doctors try to figure out exactly what is wrong. Klazinga has been in hospital since September and doctors have finally been able to say he has two rare blood disorders which are affecting his auto-immune system. Klazinga hasn’t been able to work for some time and his wife, Debbie, has tried to spend as much time as she can by Klazinga’s side. And that’s caused financial hardships. So members of the Wyoming Fire Department put together a night of music and fun to help the family through the difficult patch. Heather Klazinga, George’s daughter, stepped up to the plate immediately to provide the entertainment with her bands and arranging for other friends to entertain also. Saturday night, the Plympton-Wyoming Fairground’s building was full of family and friends. And George was there, via Skype. His friend, Hank Hoeksma, carried around an iPad with the Skype feed so Klazinga could see what was going on from his Sarnia Heather Wright Photo MOVEMBER MADNESS Students and staff at St. Phillip’s Catholic School in Petrolia were raising money for can-cer research during Movember. Teacher Greg Vandenberg grew a ‘stach with the rest of the men on staff and students and their families pledged money to help. Friday, the students donned their own moustaches including Darrin Bowen, left, Aisha Sayers and Calvin Sysel who are pictured here with Mr. Vandenberg. SEE VICTIM ON PG 2 Heather Klazinga belts out a tune dur-ing Jammin’ for George -a fundraiser for her father who is fighting two rare blood disorders. hospital bed. Heather played his two favourite songs, Seven Bridges Road and White Rabbit. SEE SUPPORT PG 2 Car Proof 2011 Nissan Pathfinder -Clean -Certified Pre-owned Feature of the week... -30 day or 5,000km warranty -150 multi-point inspection -30 day exchange program 4219 Oil Heritage Road, Petrolia 519-882-1090 • 1-855-864-4962 $ 22,900 4WD • 82400kms

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