Saturday, November 6, 2010

Memorial for Jo-Ann and Ivan

[Photo by Priscilla Lockwood.]

Yesterday was quite a day. I've read estimates of just over 1000 to 2500 people attending. Regardless, Tofino's population more than doubled as emergency responders from the province, country and even the US, joined our community to honour Jo-Ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka. The procession stretched for blocks and the huge tent on the school field was close to full. The procession mustered in front of our house, so I do have pictures, but these and these are much better.

[Photo: Wayne Barnes, Tofino Photography]

The weather worked in our favour, with the march finishing without rain. It did start while the service was underway, but I found the sound of rain on the roof soothing, reminiscent of being in a small tent with my family. I guess in a way we were in a tent with our family, just an extended one.

I have some memories of the pair — Jo-Ann teaching First Aid to my Brownies for instance, and Ivan being a kind, caring and attentive waiter at the Wickaninnish Restaurant at Long Beach and just his polite smile when you'd see him on the street — but I will always remember the time they gave our communities. I've been thinking about the emergency responders in our community — ambulance, fire, search and rescue, police, park wardens not to mention the medical professionals — and wondering if I would have it in me to do one of these jobs. I don't think I do, but I think we all need to find a way to serve our community, from coaching soccer to volunteering at community events to being a caring neighbour to serving on council. Doing something, not just bitching about it. Jo-Ann and Ivan remind us of what being an active participant in a community means. They will be — and are — missed in so many ways.

For a news report showing some of yesterday's events, go here and here is a video of the procession as it goes down Campbell Street.

A few more photos, courtesy Wayne Barnes, Tofino Photography:

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