Boomer among 156 fallen honoured in Portraits of Heroes tour

Cpl. Andrew (Boomer) Eykelenboom and other fallen Canadian soldiers will be honoured Sunday when the Portraits of Honour National Tour comes to Comox.

The Portraits of Honour National Tour comes to Comox this Sunday

The Portraits of Honour National Tour comes to Comox this Sunday

Cpl. Andrew (Boomer) Eykelenboom and other fallen Canadian soldiers will be honoured Sunday when the Portraits of Honour National Tour comes to Comox.

The Portraits of Honour National Tour is centred on a 10-foot-by-35-foot mural featuring the hand-painted portraits of the 156 Canadian soldiers, sailors and aircrew who have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.

The mural includes a portrait of Eykelenboom, a medic from Comox who lost his life in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan in 2006.

Many of the other members depicted were close personal friends of some of the more than 1,000 service members currently posted to 19 Wing Comox.

The Portraits of Honour National Tour selected Comox as one of its exclusive stops on the West Coast.

It arrives Sunday when the Comox Valley Kin Club hosts a special welcoming ceremony and public viewing at Comox Marina Park from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Canadian country singer Aaron Pritchett will attend the ceremony to deliver a musical tribute.

In addition to this very special exhibit, in a precedent-setting gesture, Veterans Affairs Canada brought the Seventh Book of Remembrance from the Peace Tower in Ottawa to accompany the mural.

During the event, the Seventh Book of Remembrance was displayed at the Comox Legion just up the hill from Marina Park.

As a special tribute to Comox and the Eykelenboom family, the book will be turned to the page that displays Eykelenboom’s name.

The Books of Remembrance contain the names of all the Canadians who have lost their lives in service to Canada and normally only leave the Peace Tower in Ottawa for inscription.

History will be made as Comox welcomes the Seventh Book in its first public tour.

The Portraits of Honour mural has taken Kinsman and volunteer artist Dave Sopha more than 6,500 hours to paint so far, but he admits that his work won’t be complete until our combat mission in Afghanistan comes to a close.

The mural, making its way across Canada in a specialized mobile display trailer, began its journey in Kitchener, Ont., May 27, with Gov.-Gen. David Johnston officiating.

It stopped in Calgary last weekend, where it was visited by Prince William and Catherine, as the final stop in their tour of Canada.

Throughout the tour, organizers expect to raise more than $1.5 million across Canada to support the Military Families Fund and established military charities to assist families of the fallen and to assist the thousands of military personnel who return home with physical or emotional injuries.

Comox Valley Kin Club president Jim Lalic hopes to raise $5,000 locally to benefit the non-profit Comox Military Family Resource Centre.

“There are so many brave men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the Canadian Forces and so many strong families who remain behind to support them,” he said. “The Comox MFRC works hard to develop programs and resources that support military families and help them to cope with the demands that frequent deployments place on their daily lives.”

Many 19 Wing members have or are currently serving in Afghanistan and in other locations around the world.

For information on the Portraits of Honour National Tour, visit

— Comox Valley Kin Club

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Classes discussed reconciliation, tying in Canada’s discriminatory policies that students had learned in their humanities studies. Photo supplied
Comox Valley students take part in ‘ReconciliACTION’

Lake Trail students are the only youth in district this year involved with a YLR event

Marc Rutten, general manager of engineering services for Comox Strathcona Waste Management. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona cutting tax requsition for region’s waste management

Staff also expect to transfer savings associated with COVID-19 to reserves

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

After holding recent meetings socially distanced but in person at Isfeld Secondary, the board of education was back meeting via Zoom because of recent pandemic restrictions. Image, screenshot
Most parents approve of schools’ handling of pandemic, says Comox Valley superintendent

Schools forced to adapt to COVID-19, including finding alternative to regular theatre production

The Gnarly Craft Fair is going virtual this year. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Gnarly Youth Craft goes virtual

The virtual fair will be open until Dec. 19 and features talented youth aged 9 -19 years

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Beefs and Bouquets
Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for week of Dec. 2

Beef to deer hunters; bouquet from a store owner to shoppers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
First Nations Leadership Council demands justice for victims of B.C. social worker

Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls actions of Robert Saunders ‘nothing short of complete depravity’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Most Read