The community spirit of St. Andrews extends beyond caring for its own members. It is well known for its outreach to others. In the mid-1970s, St. Andrews resident Mary van den Heuvel and her family hosted a Catholic priest from India who had come to Canada as a participant in the Coady Institute’s five-month community development diploma program. During his short stay Father Boniface Mendes became a loved and trusted friend to many in St. Andrews. Following Fr. Bonnie’s death several community members organized a “Wishing Wells” concert in the St. Andrew’s Catholic Church to raise money for a village well in India. Although donations were never solicited, news of the event began to spread, and Mary began to receive spontaneous offers of support from across the province. As an unexpected bonus, several well-known artists and musicians, such as Men of the Deeps and Mary Jane Lamond agreed to participate in the concert. Their participation was significant, given that they are highly regarded in the region for their efforts to revitalize and promote respect for traditional ways of life, culture, and language through music.
Nearly 300 people attended the first concert and raised over $4,000 prompting a community commitment to support a second well in India and another concert the following year. Nine years later nine wells have been completed; eight in India, and one in Haiti.
In 2006 Wishing Wells partnered with St.F.X. Service Learning to build a website which has been very helpful www.wishingwellssociety.ca