Residents looking to reflect on the one year anniversary of the passing of Aubrey and Chloe Berry are invited to the playground at Willows Beach.
A tree near the playground has been designated as a temporary memorial site for the young sisters, who were found dead in their father’s Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day.
Residents are welcome to spent time at the site, and may leave notes, flowers or tokens on the tree should they wish. The memorial will remain in place until at least Dec. 30. Oak Bay councillor Hazel Braithwaite led the creation of the site.
“It really came from the Facebook group Oak Bay local,” said Braithwaite. “Some people were asking if anything was going to be done. So I talked to the police department, the fire department and the Mayor. I ran the idea of doing something at the beach by them, and they were all for it.”
She said the parks department came up with idea of wrapping bungee cords around the tree in order to windproof any tokens left. Braithwaite said that the community response has been very positive, and that space is starting to fill up.
“According to the girls’ mother, the girls loved to go down to Willows Beach, and loved to play in the playground. That was also the place that we had the vigil last year,” Braithwaite said. “I thought it would be a good spot to have it there, because it brings joyful memories.”
Although there is no plans for a large scale vigil this year, Braithwaite said a crowd of almost two hundred people might gather at the site on Boxing Day.
“There’s a plan at 4:30 in the afternoon on Boxing Day, the girls’ music teacher from Christ Church Cathedral is going to be leading a little sing along down at the beach of ‘this little light of mine,’” Braithwaite said.
“Whoever wants to come, just bring some sort of a light—glow sticks, battery operated candle, whatever they want to bring—and to do a little bit of a sing along.”
Jesse Laufer [9:37 AM]