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Sept. 17, 2003

Links to the SOUTH SHORE

Sheila McIntyre of Quincy, Mass.

heila McIntyre climbed into a pickup truck for an unbearably bumpy ride over dirt roads to help immunize Haitian children.

It was nearly two decades ago when McIntyre and a small group of companions traveled Haiti’s back country and found themselves complaining a little about the less-than-ideal ride. But as the truck pulled up to the throngs of waiting parents and children, something happened: The Haitians started cheering their arrival.

“The parents applauded us for coming but they were the ones who walked miles,” said McIntyre, the widow of former Quincy Mayor James McIntyre.

The image of little girls wearing what was likely their only dresses, with colorful ribbons in their hair, remains locked in her mind.

McIntyre, 71, has been to Haiti twice, in 1985 and again the following year. It has been 17 years since she last visited, but she can’t shake the memories. She doesn’t want to.

She still serves on the board of trustees of the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, and she helped organize the group’s annual dinner tonight to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

She hopes to return to Haiti in the next few years.

“I will never forget their appreciation and dignity and serenity,” she said. “Once you’ve gone, you can’t forget it. I haven’t been in so many years, but I still feel connected.”

Karen Eschbacher may be reached at keschbacher@ledger.com

Stories by
Karen Eschbacher
Photos by
Gary Higgins

The Patriot Ledger

Providing Hope for the Future: Faith and Growth

Providing Hope for the Future: Learning Curve

Links to the South Shore of Massachusetts: Sheila McIntyre of Quincy

Faces of Haiti: Jean David Edume

Personal Journal

Numbers That Count: Education & Economy

Small map of Haiti (90KB)

Large map of Haiti (100KB)

Photos from Haiti (668KB)

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