Station Charities Fund Update: In Aid of Nepal
On 25th April 2015, at 11:56 Nepal Standard Time, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8Mw hit the Lamjung district of Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people, and injuring in excess of 22,000.
At RAF Wyton, the generosity and good will of Station personnel was typical of the response the Nepalese people received from all around the World, over £1,000 being donated towards much needed aid.
In what was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, international agencies and governments were quick to mobilize rescue workers and aid for the earthquake. However, with hundreds of thousands of people being made homeless, and entire villages being flattened, it didn’t take long before ordinary people stood side by side to organise charity events in aid of the Nepal Earthquake. At RAF Wyton, the Station Charities Fund held a gate collection and car wash to raise donations towards their appeal.
Organised by SCSO, WO Don MacLarty and the Station Charities Fund Committee, it wasn’t long before Pte Hom Pun, MPGS got on board to help. Nepalese by birth, Pte Pun (44) was a Gurkha for 15 years, before joining the MPGS at RAF Wyton in 2009. Originally from Hal Hale, a village of only 70 odd houses, Hom’s family still live there, but thankfully they weren’t affected by the earthquake. Indeed, Hom also has a house of his own in the city of Pokhara, also fortunate to escape the devastation.
Pte Pun said: “I got involved because I wanted to support Joanna Lumley’s appeal to send aid to all of Nepal. I am indebted to everyone who helped with the collection and car wash, especially WO MacLarty and the Charities Fund Committee. At Wyton, there are four MPGS personnel from Nepal. However, I am pleased to tell you that both they and their families are safe and accounted for, although it did take a while to confirm this, which was understandably a worrying time for all of us.”
Speaking of Pte Hom Pun’s concern for his colleagues, and his subsequent charity effort, Sgt Kenny Thomson, MPGS Section Cdr said: “Pte Pun was determined to do something following the disaster that struck his home of Nepal, particularly knowing that one of his work colleagues and fellow Ghurkhas from RAF Wyton was out there at the time the earthquakes hit. This dedicated family man then did the one thing he knew would help aid his home; he heard that the Station was raising money for earthquake relief charities through a collection and car wash, and immediately volunteered his help. Working extremely hard from first thing in the morning to early evening, Pte Pun hardly took a break, collecting at the gate and washing the cars of Station personnel. In doing so, he helped raise over £1,000 towards the Nepal Earthquake appeal.”
Sgt Thomson added: “It is typical of Hom. He knew he could consider himself fortunate, his family safe and well, but he also knew others were not so fortunate, and even though he was half way across the world, he just wanted to do something, anything to help.”
After the event, WO MacLarty said: “I would like to thank a number of people who made it possible for the Station to contribute towards the Nepal earthquake disaster appeal, in particular 42 Engr Regt who readily agreed to the use of their vehicle washing facilities, and members of the Station Charities Fund Committee which included; Babcock’s Gerry Brown, Laura Holmes, Simon Ryan and Andy Warren, and the Station Community Team’s Siggy Hillman and Susan Hetzke. Our thanks also go out to all who donated to the appeal, especially those who brought their cars down to be washed.”
The Station Charities Fund Committee will be holding another car wash on 27th August in aid of local charities.