On Sunday afternoon in front of Victoria Hall, Greenwood Coalition held a “community-led vigil for loved ones lost to overdose”. They called it “They Were Here”. Led by David Sheffield, a steady stream of people spoke of their experiences – there was a lot of emotion and passion. When I was there around 2:20 pm, there were about 35 people; some spoke and others were simply supportive. Attendees were invited to “create and hang a flag of hope to commemorate a loved one who has died”. (See photos below). Apart from talking about their personal experiences, some also spoke of the misunderstanding that the public seems to have. Councillor Adam Bureau initiated Council’s actions on the opioid crisis and he was there but there were no other politicians – at least not while I was there.
The “vigil” was subdued and did not seem to attract any opposition (nor should it) but I was a little surprised at the lack of a Police presence – although it was not needed.
The event may not have got much advance publicity; a Media Advisory was issued – but that’s the only way I knew about it.
Greenwood Coalition Notice
Here is their description of the event.
As we continue to lose members of our community at an alarming rate, family, friends and neighbours will gather together in an act of unity to remember lives lived and lost. They Were Here will be a community-led vigil, providing a safe space for people to grieve, honour and celebrate loved ones lost to overdose while offering hope and community to those living with addiction.
Attendees will be invited to create and hang a flag of hope to commemorate a loved one who has died. There will also be an opportunity for people to speak their loved one’s name and share a memory or message.
There is no word yet on the re-scheduling of the Town “summit” on the issue of opioid addiction. I wonder if it will get lost in the issues of homelessness and low cost housing which many seem to think are related.
Here are some photos of the event.