Comox Valley Record Year In Review: JUNE

Firefighters uninjured in accident; activist honoured

A body was pulled from the Puntledge River by an angler, approximately one mile north of the Condensory Bridge. The fisherman spotted what he thought was garbage floating down the river. He waded in to retrieve it and discovered it was a body.

• The Pride flag was raised in celebration of Pride Month for the first time at Highland Secondary School in Comox.

The flag raising was part of a larger celebration at Highland School which featured a bake sale, film festival, music and face painting.

• The man charged with biting off the tip of a Comox Valley cab driver’s finger in April made his first appearance for the incident in court. Peter Vandal was charged by the Comox Valley RCMP with aggravated assault after an incident on April 28 behind the 7-11 on Ryan Road.

• Several RCMP officers were on hand scouring the bushes at Hobson Park after reports of shots being fired in the neighbourhood. Officers went to the area, spoke with several residents, and walked through the park and surrounding streets; however, they were unable to locate any further evidence.

• An altercation on the Rotary Trail in Courtenay has left a Comox Valley woman battered and bruised. The woman alleges she was physically assaulted by a male dirt biker while jogging with her teenaged daughter in the afternoon. Her family reported the incident to the Comox Valley RCMP.

• Three Comox Valley firefighters were in a violent rollover on the Trans Canada Highway in Saanich after a driver suffered a medical emergency. The accident occurred as Comox Fire Rescue assistant fire chief Jim Lariviere, captain Corey Brooks and Hornby Island fire chief Doug Chinnery returned from a conference in Victoria. Dashcam footage which captured the event showed the Comox Fire Rescue vehicle swerve across two lanes before striking the concrete barrier that separates oncoming traffic, causing the vehicle to flip onto its side. Fire Chief Gord Schreiner said Brooks, who was driving, had a medical issue which caused him to black out. The trio was taken to hospital in Victoria but the firefighters were not physically injured.

Director Stephen Dunn recounted gay activist Jim Egan’s work for equal rights in the first Heritage Minute about Canada’s LGBTQ community. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

• A pioneer in gay rights activism who called the Comox Valley home in his later years is the star of Historica Canada’s most recent Heritage Minute. Jim Egan was an activist, writer and politician, and was one of the first Canadians to write long-form pieces in the news media from an openly gay perspective. He became a grand marshal of the 1995 Toronto Pride Parade after taking a pension fight to the Supreme Court of Canada.

• A rare Second World War aircraft was set to return to Comox, coinciding with the launch of a legacy fund named after local legend Stocky Edwards. Efforts to reconstruct the Y2K Spitfire began in Comox nearly 20 years ago, but the plane has been in Gatineau, Que. the past three years for wing assembly, finishing work and test flying.

• The BC Coroners Service released its report into the death of 16-year-old Courtenay resident Sara Manitoski, who died last year while camping on Hornby Island. Coroner Courtney Cote concluded that Manitoski died of toxic shock syndrome.

BUSINESS

Canada’s longest-running restaurant chain turned 90 years old. White Spot, which has a branch in Courtenay, marked the milestone with a limited-time retro menu.

• The Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INFilm) was seeking community support from local governments and politicians on Central Vancouver Island to have scenes for Sonic the Hedgehog film shot on Highway 19 in the fall.

• The Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community got a little bit bigger, after purchasing the Longlands Golf Course. Longlands is an 18-hole, par-3 course located on Anderton Road, just outside Comox in Area B. The 75-acre property had been for sale since late 2016.

The Nomadic Tempest

ARTS

Organizers were kicking into high gear in preparation for hosting the Caravan Stage Company and its touring production, Nomadic Tempest, at the Kus-kus-sum site on the Courtenay River. The Nomadic Tempest is a self-contained performance from the rigging of a 90-foot tall ship called the Amara Zee – a replica of a Thames River sailing barge.

SPORTS

In sports, Ronnie Postnikoff, a Grade 12 student at Isfeld Secondary in Courtenay, was bound for the University of North Dakota on a golf scholarship.

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