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Ex-residents share trip to Christmas Island at Rotary
It was a special homecoming for Mary Burns and Allen Craig as they spoke at the Corning Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday.
Burns, the sister of Valanne Cardenas of Corning, and Craig, both grew up in Corning, and like Cardenas graduated from Corning High School.
The sisters' maiden name is Blomquist. Craig is the son of Ann Craig and brother of Ron Craig, owners of the Olive Pit in town.
Joining Burns and Craig was Burns husband, Richard, as they told the club about their recent trip to Christmas Island.
"It is so good to be back here in my hometown," said Mary Burns. All three now live in Redding.
The trip was a fishing expedition, but turned into much more.
While there Burns was the guest of honor during the International Women's Day, which is celebrated with dancing, food and speakers.
Other enjoyments were birdwatching and learning about the island's native culture and people.
"The life expectancy there is 50 for men and 55 for women," said Craig. "That is mostly due to their poor diet. They have practically no vegetables or fruits in their diets. The soil is too poor to grow much."
The island is located "out in the middle of nowhere," 1,200 miles south of Hawaii.
Craig said the average home on the island has no electricity, but some places do use generators for electricity. They reported that the population of the island is approximately 4,000.