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We can choose to make a difference


By Michael Apichella


Michael Apichella (3656352)
Michael Apichella (3656352)

Someone once said deer in the jungle must outrun the fastest cheetah daily. Likewise, a cheetah must overtake the fastest deer. Having no other options, they’ll die if they fail. When we see mindless vandalism, litter, and increasing crime in our midst, sometimes life around Bury feels like we’re merely hapless animals surviving in a jungle.

Then, as this paper shows, great stuff happens reminding me that, unlike animals, we human-beings have daily opportunities to make life not only manageable but a genuine joy to live.

For instance, while using a local superstore’s ATM, I was distracted and walked off, forgetting to collect my money. Shortly afterward, a total stranger approached me, asking if the crisp note he held was mine. A sharp-eyed cashier met his eyes and nodded a brisk “Yes.” Turning the shade of a Suffolk ham, I shook hands, thanking him and the cashier for returning my cash.

Paul Derrick reported in this paper that man-about-town Abbeygate Cinema manager Pat Church arranged a special trip to the venue for his 93-year-old ‘surrogate mum’ who’s been housebound for months.

According to Paul, Pat arranged for Daphne Catton to visit the cinema, in Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds, recently for a live screening of her favourite musician Andre Rieu’s Maastricht Concert. Plucky Daphne ventured out after being hospitalised and housebound for nine months.

I can’t heap enough praise on West Suffolk Hospital which continues to serve our community despite budgetary restraints. Recently a friend of mine woke early one morning complaining of chest pains, and after being admitted to hospital, she was given first-rate care and attention.

Sure. Our taxes go to ensure the good old National Health Service continues to be the envy of the world. But other monies are needed to keep the service going as our area population increases. And all of us can help the West Suffolk while having fun. Bury St Edmunds is set to get its first ever soapbox challenge when the lively event comes to town to raise money for West Suffolk Hospital.

According to Wikipedia, the first soapbox race was held in 1934 in the USA and has since spread all around the world. Like all races, there’s any number of competitors, and the prizes go to the first cars to cross the finish line. But in this case, cars competing rely completely upon gravity to speed toward the race’s ending.

As it says in the publicity: “Did you love the good old days of making a go-kart from pram wheels and a wooden crate with your mates? Would you like to recreate those days with an added flair? Then this is the event for you.”

Come out and support the challenge being held on Mount Road, Moreton Hall, on Saturday, September 1. Several teams will be competing in their homemade soapboxes as they race their go-karts through a course which will include a ramp and chicane along the downhill dash. And as I say, all the money raised goes to help our local hospital which helps us. Whether your car comes in first or last, everyone is a winner with your support. See you at the races!

So, returning money, giving a classy 93-year-old lady a fun day out at the cinema, or supporting a local amenity. These are hardly heroic actions, but as earth’s sole species having a conscience and far-reaching freewill, we can make choices that can make a difference for the better. I see area folks doing just that all the time. At work, in shops, and in our neighbourhoods.

Yep. Bury’s no jungle.



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