Tragedy has struck a young African family who emigrated to this country in search of a better life.
Friends and associates of former Bangor residents James and Rahab Nduati of Parsons, Kan., were saddened to learn last week of the death of 8-year-old Miriam Nduati, who died Thursday, Oct. 30, after an automobile accident.
Don Emmons of the Bangor Wal-Mart learned of the tragedy from Nona Cochran of Bangor, the store’s toy department manager who was a friend and former neighbor of the Nduatis on Essex Street.
According to information obtained by the Cochran family, the car the Nduati family was riding in was struck from the rear by a truck while it was traveling on an interstate highway. Other family members suffered minor injuries.
The family came to Bangor from Kenya two years ago and moved last August to Kansas where Rahab, an occupational therapist, had obtained employment. She was employed at Acadia Hospital in Bangor before obtaining a position in Kansas.
According to friends and associates, the young family had been experiencing some difficulties in the process of relocating to a new country, which is why friends here are eager to do what they can to help them through this tragic time.
Emmons said Wal-Mart “will be giving some merchandise to raffle off” and that Wal-Mart will accept donations for the family.
“If people would like to help the family out, they can write a check to Wal-Mart and put the name `Miriam Nduati’ in the notes section,” he said.
“We will put that money into a holding account, which we do for nonprofits, and then, when we have enough money, we will open a savings account in the family’s name.”
Eastern Maine Healthcare spokeswoman Nancy Ballard said the administration of Acadia Hospital, where Rahab worked, and Eastern Maine Medical Center is supportive of the Wal-Mart initiative.
“Rahab previously worked at Acadia Hospital,” Ballard said. “We have made her tragedy known to our employees, and have made Wal-Mart’s efforts known to them.” Information also is being provided in hospital newsletters.
Ballard expressed sadness at the loss and her hopes that “the family will be all right.”
Excerpts from the death notice sent to the Parsons Sun newspaper, which we obtained from the Sun newsroom staff, report that “Miriam enjoyed school and was in the third grade at Washington Elementary School.”
“She participated in acting at the Kaleidoscope Theatre and was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.”
For those who wish to contact the family directly, their address is 3125 Crawford, Parsons, Kan. 67357.
Local donations may be made at Wal-Mart or by writing Wal-Mart, 70 Springer Drive, Bangor 04401.
This week, as our attention is focused on remembering the veterans who served their country in times of conflict, we share with you a way for those veterans to be reminded of our pride in them.
The Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor is offering for sale, at cost, videotapes of the dedication of the Maine State World War II Veterans Memorial, which took place Oct. 11 on the museum grounds.
Two tapes are being offered. One 30-minute tape includes construction of the monument, television news coverage, and the museum’s patriotism video. A second video shows the dedication of the monument and is approximately 83 minutes long.
The tapes sell for $7 each, or $10 for mail orders.
They are available only through Veterans Day at the museum at 405 Perry Road, but may also be purchased at Bennett Tire, 510 Perry Road, Bangor; and Associated Media Productions, 601 Main Road, Holden.
The videos also are available in some local bookstores.
Information on the videos may be obtained by calling the museum at 990-3600; Bennett Tire at 947-0351; or AMP at 989-5125. AMP will accept major credit cards and honor mail requests.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Maine and Point Sebago Golf and Beach Resort were the first two recipients of the Governor’s Corporate Volunteerism Awards presented at the Maine Volunteer Connection’s 1997 Blaine House Conference on Volunteerism held the first week in October at the Augusta Civic Center.
The new awards were added to the Governor’s Service Awards, which are sponsored by MVC to recognize businesses for outstanding contributions to local communities. Blue Cross-Blue Shield was given the corporate award and Point Sebago the small business award.
The other finalists were F.A. Peabody Co. of Houlton, McCain’s of Easton, Saunders Brothers of Westbrook and Oakhurst Dairy of Portland.
At the same event, Cheryl Parker, director of the Museum at Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, was presented the Award for Excellence in Volunteer Administration.
Finalists for that award included Irene Gray of Bangor, associate executive director of United Way of Eastern Maine; Barbara Craig, provider and interviewer for Project Feed in Portland; and Susan Bowie, director of hospital volunteer services at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
The Standpipe congratulates all nominees for their commitment to volunteerism and to their communities.
The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.