Stone church on Cape Breton saved thanks to army engineers

Stone church on Cape Breton saved thanks to army engineers
A weather-beaten century-old stone church has seen salvation thanks to a devoted volunteer group and help from the Canadian army.

When the Catholic Church let go of St. Alphonsus Church in Cape Breton 10 years ago, the group that bought the structure planned to repair it in the future.

It wasnt long before they realized repairs couldnt wait.

Melanie Sampson, president of the volunteer-based Stone Church Restoration Society, said that if the church doesnt get a new roof, she wont survive after this winter.

[Its] very stressful, very frustrating worrying from day to day if the plug was going to have to be pulled on it, she said.

A resolution came in the form of Canadian troops in Cape Breton for training, including army engineers hoping to exercise skills required in disaster zones.

Capt. Jamie Tobin called it a great opportunity to not only help a local community organization but also to help our soldiers get the training they need.

After resolving remaining paperwork, the soldiers moved in.

Master Cpl. Michael Galbiati-Bourassa said its the type of work soldiers might do overseas.

As a construction technician, a lot of times I have common engineers who work beneath me, so they don t get this kind of training in their trade, he said.
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