Lanterns of remembrance

Dianne St. Jean
A view from the sky over Valemount of one of the Lanterns of Remembrance released in commemoration of female victims of violence.
A view from the sky over Valemount of one of the Lanterns of Remembrance released in commemoration of female victims of violence.

Honouring the victims of École Polytechnique

On Wednesday, Dec. 6 a small group gathered at the grounds of the Robson Valley Support Society in Valemount to remember the 14 female students from École Polytechnique de Montréal who were killed in an act of gender-based violence on the same date in 1989.

December 6 has since become the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Various groups observe the day in a number of ways.

This year the RVSS invited others to join them in lighting sky lanterns in honour of the victims.
A lantern representing all female victims of violence was released along with those for the École Polytechnique shooting victims.
A lantern representing all female victims of violence was released along with those for the École Polytechnique shooting victims.
(Left to right) Councillor Owen Torgerson looks on as CAO Adam Davey and Korie Marshall light a lantern of remembrance; Village staff Krista Etty helping one of the participants with hers.
(Left to right) Councillor Owen Torgerson looks on as CAO Adam Davey and Korie Marshall light a lantern of remembrance; Village staff Krista Etty helping one of the participants with hers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Representatives of the Village of Valemount CAO Adam Davey and staff members Megan Vincente and Krista Etty, as well as Councillor Owen Torgerson joined RVSS staff Penny Rivard, Jana MacMaster and Marion Farquharson and members of the public in lighting the lanterns in memory of the young women who were killed that day, as well as one for all female victims of violence.

A lantern representing all female victims of violence was released along with those for the École Polytechnique shooting victims.
A lantern representing all female victims of violence was released along with those for the École Polytechnique shooting victims.

A poem written by a local resident and RVSS staff member was read out loud, along with the names of the victims: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, and Annie Turcotte.

As well as local observance, a ceremony of remembrance was held in the Hall of Honour of the B.C. Parliament Buildings at noon, with the Canadian flag on the grounds at half-mast between sunrise and sunset.

On behalf of RVSS, Executive Director Lina Thompson expressed their sincere appreciation for all community members who have offered their time and support.

The Society welcomes any ideas for next year’s event in 2018.