Second funeral held in town with tainted water

The sorrow continues in Walkerton. Residents of the town said a tear-filled goodbye Saturday to another victim of the E. coli outbreak.

The funeral was the second this week involving someone who had died from the bacteria which contaminated the town's water. Edith Pearson, 82, a mother of five and grandmother of 13, was remembered at Sacred Heart Church.

On Friday, at the same church, mourners gathered for a sombre ceremony for 66-year-old Lenore Al.

The two women were among five people who died after drinking water contaminated with E. coli. Hundreds of others are sick.

About 150 of the town's 5,000 residents turned out for Al's funeral.

Rev. Paul Reilly said more would have attended but they were forced to stay home to care for the sick, who are suffering from bloody diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and fever. Others wanted to avoid the army of media now swooping through the town, he added.

Al was remembered as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who had recently quit working to spend more time with her family.

"We speak to God as a community," Rev. Reilly told the crowd, "especially in these difficult times to share a life, to share faith, to support one another."

The local Kinsmen and Kinette club has set up a trust fund to help the families of the victims. Donations are being accepted at Walkerton's Bank of Montreal, the Laurentian Bank and the provincial savings office. The Bank of Montreal in nearby Hanover is also accepting donations.

About $39,000 has been collected so far.

Next Saturday, a benefit concert is planned in the town. Organizers are hoping to attract well known bands.