A Community Shaken but not Broken
The evening of Tuesday, July 13th, 2021, I found out some distressing news. As I went to close my Facebook page, I read this: “FIRE AT LEWIS MOULDING.” I had to do a double-take — I could not believe this was happening. Earlier that evening, I recalled smelling smoke in the air and thought it was someone burning junk in the community, as people sometimes do this time of year.
But to my dismay, it was not. The community of Weymouth’s most significant employer was on fire. The fire was so big that twenty-two fire departments were on the scene to try to contain it and put out the blaze. I began to scroll my Facebook page looking for more information about the fire. People within the community as well as media were posting pictures and videos of the fire.
The images and the video of this blaze are massive and hard to watch. It does not seem real.. have we not gone through enough already? It’s like the universe is picking up the Earth and shaking it, and each time with a new and upsetting result when it stops. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the world’s economy, especially in small towns. And now this… it is like a gut punch to the stomach. The fire shook the village of Weymouth and all surrounding areas who rely on this employer for their jobs.
“I can feel something brewing already; a pull, an eagerness and determination to put the pieces back together again.”
But a community is a funny thing, especially when hard times fall. People begin to rally and show up to help and support each other.
Community support followed the loss of the plant to the fire, that evening and in the days that followed. Businesses local and beyond donated food and water to the firefighters battling the blaze. The evening of the fire, employees of the plant suddenly became one of the squadrons there to fight the fire, to save their very own livelihoods.
Community support is how a small town/community works. People care for their neighbour’s houses.
We live in unprecedented times, and life is complicated enough on its own… but with the world as it is right now this recent event is certainly putting our community of Weymouth to the test.
But there are community rumblings like “WE’RE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS!”, “WE WILL REBUILD“, and “WE ARE STRONG” to quote a few. I can feel something brewing already; a pull, an eagerness and determination to put the pieces back together again.
Weymouth is resilient. The community will rally to help put the largest employer within the community back on track. A community that works together, brings its members closer and helps to heal. I sense that there will be a lot of work ahead, but it will be all worth it in the end. Community spirit is vital, and it is apparent in our tiny but mighty town of Weymouth!
The following CBC article shows the enormity and devastation of the fire and its effect on the community. It shows pictures and videos of the fire.
Shawnalynn Cromwell is a community ambassador with Inspiring Communities’ nested initiative Turning the Tide in Digby. Shawnalynn is a writer, changemaker and active community member in Weymouth Falls.