The death of Courtenay resident Micah Messent in the Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday that killed everyone on board has prompted a huge reaction and tributes from friends, co-workers and well-wishers on social media.
Messent, who graduated from G.P. Vanier Secondary School in Courtenay in 2013, was selected to join a delegation from the United Nations Association in Canada to the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, this week.
He posted on his Instagram account Saturday about attending the assembly and received dozens of well-wishes from family and friends. Sunday afternoon, dozens more messages of condolence and heartbreak filled the page.
Comox Valley brewery Gladstone Brewing Co. posted on Facebook Monday afternoon their condolences as Messent was employed by the Courtenay company.
“Micah came into every shift with enthusiasm and a giant smile; he was courteous, big-hearted and destined for amazing things,” read the post.
“His success over the last couple of years and the determination he had toward achieving his goals was astounding. His arc being cut short so suddenly is nothing less than a tragedy.”
Outdoor retailer giant Mountain Equipment Co-op posted Monday afternoon Messent had a positive energy, ability to make everyone feel included and commended his commitment to make the world a better place.
“Micah will be greatly missed by the outdoor community and beyond,” noted the post.
Following his time at Vanier, Messent went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Indigenous Studies at Vancouver Island University and was working as an Indigenous relations analyst for the B.C. Ministry of Environment.
The Nanaimo-based post-secondary school offered counselling services for students and employees for those affected by the tragedy.
They noted Messent was “an engaged member of our community, contributing his time, energy and talents to his fellow students. Our hearts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Messent served his Indigenous Youth Internship Program placement with the BC Parks branch of the Ministry of Environment and was passionate about his work to protect the world around him.
Gaynor Bereza wrote on Facebook his passing has inspired her to make more changes in her life and the environment one plastic bottle, straw or piece of beach junk at a time.
“It may seem petty, but it is something I can do in the face of such a loss of a bright spark in our home town.”
– With files from Laura Baziuk