Royal Commonwealth Society sends supplies to Vanuatu

Newborns on typhoon-ravaged island to receive blankets originally intended for Royal baby

Shannon Oaks residents Margaret McDougall

Shannon Oaks residents Margaret McDougall

What was supposed to be a gift to welcome the newest member of the Royal Family will instead be used to comfort some of the tiniest victims of a natural disaster.

The Vancouver Island branch of Royal Commonwealth Society assembled gifts of brushed-cotton receiving blankets to send to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to welcome their new daughter, Princess Charlotte. But the group has now decided to send the blankets instead to welcome newborns in Vanuatu, a group of islands that were devastated by Cyclone Pam in March.

“We thought it would be a good idea to think of children in need rather than the Royal baby,” said RCS branch president Wendy Halliday, adding the new addition to the Royal Family will not want for anything. “But these poor little babies are desperate.”

Halliday had special praise for the work of Shannon Oaks residents Marion Adams and Margaret McDougall.

“Not only did they donate blankets but they got out and encouraged their friends and neighbours to donate as well,” she said.

Halliday estimates a total of 200 blankets were collected. Those blankets will be combined with medical supplies collected by ViVA (Victoria Vanuatu Physicians Association) and transported to the South Pacific island in early May.