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Governor Appeals for Patience, Charity

December 19, 1995

PLYMOUTH, Montserrat (AP) _ It’s been a trying year in this British colony in the Caribbean.

Two tropical storms, two hurricanes and a rumbling volcano have battered the island’s 12,000 people. With a gloomy Christmas at hand, Gov. Frank Savage is appealing to them to help the needy.

``I’m asking Montserratians to rally around the ... spirit of Christmas,″ Savage said Tuesday.

Half the population was evacuated from the south when the Soufriere Hills volcano increased activity last month. About 1,000 people are staying in shelters, the rest with friends and relatives. There is no word when they can return.

The governor appealed for donations of money, food and help for shelter dwellers. Torrential rains this week have made life miserable for people in tents and even in more substantial shelters such as churches, he said.

``Montserratians are a wonderful people. They have an indomitable spirit and they’re hanging in there. But there is a limit to what you can ask people to accept,″ Savage said.

Organizers plan to go ahead with a traditional Christmas festival featuring calypso music.

And Savage sees some economic potential for the volcano _ another eco-tourism attraction on the lush, tropical island.

``There is no doubt that as soon as the volcano drops down, stops being rowdy, we will turn it to our advantage,″ he said.

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