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Harry breaks Christian Aid Norfolk canoe record

CanoeHarryRout450Eighty-seven year old Harry Rout from Norwich broke all records recently when he became the oldest person to complete a Christian Aid sponsored canoe trip. Eldred Willey reports.
Harry (pictured right) paddled up the River Bure from Horstead to Buxton and back, smiling and laughing all the way, and undeterred by a powerful side wind blowing up spray.
He was raising money for Christian Aid’s partner, the YMCA in Bethlehem, which is rehabilitating Palestinians who have been crippled or maimed by the violence.
Harry was one of four members of Wroxham Road Methodist Church who took to the water, including the minister, the Rev Nigel Fox.
The paddling party included a wide age range, down to Oluwasayi Shorinola, a Nigerian from the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Olu is a student at the John Innes Centre, doing a PhD on the premature sprouting of wheat. As providence would have it, he shared a canoe with Ed Land, who grew up on a farm in Southrepps – so they were able to exchange ideas about the sprouting of wheat on the way.
CanoeTrio420Astrid and Joe, instructors from the Horstead Centre, provided relaxed and good-natured supervision and brought the party safely back to the landing stage.
Beneficiaries of the project include young Palestinian men like Muin, who was shot during a demonstration and paralysed from the waist down. The YMCA has retrained him and set him up in a business making olive-wood carving for pilgrims.
Donations to the project (payable to Christian Aid) can be sent via Eldred Willey, Christian Aid Senior Regional Co-ordinator, at the King’s Centre, King Street, Norwich NR1 2LD, ewilley@christian-aid.org


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