扶輪家庭

The Family of Rotary

加州大火過後扶輪家庭奮力救災

Family of Rotary pitches in following California fires

作者:安東尼.克萊恩(Anthony G. Craine)

扶輪月刊2004/1

Lend a Hand

伸出援手


大衛.福洛曼(David Froman)20031026日一早踏出聖地牙哥的家,就聞到煙,當時他並沒有警覺事態嚴重。森林大火就正在南加州蔓延開來,而且附近剛好有一處火場,但這種事對福洛曼的鄰居們而言,並不稀奇。

 

Froman (fourth from left) gets help on an emotional day.福洛曼(由左第四位)在一個感人的日子獲得幫助

When David Froman emerged from his San Diego home on the morning of 26 October 2003 and smelled smoke, he wasn't alarmed. Wildfires were raging across Southern California and one was burning nearby, but such occurrences were nothing new to residents of Froman's neighborhood.

福洛曼是拉荷拉金三角(La Jolla Golden Triangle)扶輪社的社員,也是一位律師。

他說:「我們這個地區以前也發生過大火,但從來沒有嚴重到必須疏散。」

"We'd had fires in the area before, but it wasn't anything we had to evacuate for," says Froman, an attorney and member of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle.

為了以防萬一,他便收拾一些值錢的東西,放到旅行車上。不久,消防隊員就來到這個區域,四處通知居民儘快疏散。15分鐘之內,福洛曼和他太太伊麗莎白就上路去找安全的地方。沒想到此後他們就再也看不到他們的房子。

As a precaution, however, he gathered up some valuables and put them into his van. A short time later, fire officials came through the neighborhood and told residents to evacuate as quickly as possible. Within 15 minutes, Froman and his wife, Elizabeth, were on their way to safety. They would never see their house again.

大火橫掃附近整個區域,摧毀了福洛曼以及同一條街另外40戶人家的房子。三天後這些房子被大火夷為平地,這些家庭獲准回去,他們想從火災遺留下來的瓦礫堆及灰燼中,篩選出還能用的東西。面臨這麼巨大的任務,福洛曼向他的扶輪社求援。

Fire swept through the neighborhood and destroyed the Fromans' house and about 40 others on their street. Three days later, families were allowed to return to the neighborhood to sift through the piles of debris and ash that were once their homes. Facing an overwhelming task, Froman appealed to his Rotary club.

該社的扶輪家庭委員會主委琳達.史托福(Linda Stouffer)說:「他平常不愛講話。但這回他卻說出了感人肺腑的話。我們都受到感動。」

"He's a quiet guy," says Linda Stouffer, chairwoman of the club's family of Rotary committee. "He gave a very emotional statement. It touched us."

翌日,該社的40個社員就抵達現場幫忙。他們帶來了篩檢的器材及其他工具、食物、以及飲料,來幫助福洛曼一家度過難挨的一天。有些人留下來繼續工作到天黑,雖然他們那天晚上還要出席保羅.合理斯表彰晚宴。

The next day, 40 members of the La Jolla Golden Triangle club arrived to help. They brought sifting equipment and other tools, food, and drinks to help the Fromans make it through the difficult day. Some stayed and worked until dark, even though they had a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition dinner to attend that night.

福洛曼說:「他們實在為我們付出而且關心我們。我不知要如何感激他們的愛心及同情心。」

"They were giving and caring," Froman says. "How can you express your thanks for such love and compassion?"

在火災中倖存的東西包括原始的結婚戒指(他們在結婚25年紀念日另外又互贈新戒指)、伊麗莎白的結婚禮服(放在一個行李箱裡的毛毯底下,火竟然被毛毯抵擋住)、以及在禮服下面的一個刺繡精美的枕頭套,那是一個美國海軍水手的媽媽送的,他曾經在菲律賓的美軍軍事法庭替那個水手辯護。枕頭套上面用手工繡了聖歌的一句話:「當你的生命被重重的危險包圍時,願上帝與你同在。」

Among the items that survived the fire were the couple's original wedding rings (they exchanged new rings on their 25th anniversary), Elizabeth's wedding dress (stored in a trunk under a wool blanket that withstood the flames), and, beneath that, a decorative pillowcase that Froman received as a gift from the mother of a U.S. Navy sailor he had represented in a court martial case in the Philippines. Hand-embroidered on the pillowcase are the words "God be with you when life's peril thick confound you," taken from an old hymn.

福洛曼說:「當我太太拿起枕頭套時,她淚流滿面。我想我會把它裝框,掛在我們的新房子裡。」

"When my wife held that up, there wasn't a dry eye," Froman says. "You'd better believe that is going to be framed in our new house."

福洛曼說,儘管龐大的損失帶給他們不少痛苦,他現在所流的眼淚卻是來自當他回憶起社友們那天展現的慈悲。史托福說,她萬萬也沒預料到她的扶輪社必須回應如此大的災難危機,可是社員們的反應的確可圈可點。

Froman says that despite the pain of the loss, the tears he sheds now come when he recalls the kindness that his fellow Rotarians displayed that day. Stouffer says she never could have predicted that her club would be called on to respond to a crisis of this magnitude, but the members responded admirably.

她說:「我希望這件事可以加深其他扶輪社的印象,讓他們知道什麼叫做扶輪家庭。」

"I hope this will punctuate for other clubs just what the family of Rotary is all about," Stouffer says.

根據地區總監麥可.史鐵曼(Mike Stelman)的說法,5340地區至少有7個扶輪社員的家被這場森林大火摧毀,這是加州有史以來破壞最嚴重的大火,22人喪命,燒毀3500個房子。史鐵曼籲請扶輪社員們盡他們所能協助這些家庭。

According to District Governor Mike Stelman, at least seven Rotarian families in District 5340 had their homes damaged by the wildfires, the most destructive in California history, killing 22 people and consuming 3,500 homes. Stelman asked Rotarians to offer whatever assistance they can to those families.

根據規定,若要獲得2003-04年度社長獎,地區總監及每個扶輪社都要成立扶輪家庭委員會。這項行動鼓勵扶輪社及地區將社員們的配偶及子女、以及已故扶輪社員的配偶,納入扶輪活動。扶輪家庭也強調在必要時扶輪社應該出面協助社員及其家庭。

Establishing a family of Rotary committee is a requirement for every district governor and every club in order to earn the 2003-04 Presidential Citation. The initiative encourages clubs and districts to include members' spouses and children, as well as the spouses of deceased Rotarians, in Rotary activities. It also underscores the importance of clubs coming to the assistance of members and their families in times of need.