The plaque for former City of Courtenay Randy Wiwchar was unveiled Saturday morning at the plaza renamed in his honour. Photo by Mike Chouinard

The plaque for former City of Courtenay Randy Wiwchar was unveiled Saturday morning at the plaza renamed in his honour. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Year in Review: June

Memorial march for the children

The march to mark one year since the discovery of unmarked children’s graves at a B.C. residential school started with K’ómoks First Nation leading the way from Simms Millennium Park. The discovery of 215 bodies at Kamloops Indian Residential School was the first of at least 15 similar discoveries on the properties of former residential schools throughout the country.

Highway death

Comox Valley RCMP confirmed the death of a 43-year-old Lake Cowichan man involved in a crash May 24 involving a logging truck that lost its load on an on-ramp in the Valley. Police were called to the northbound on-ramp on Highway 19 off the Comox Valley Parkway for a logging truck that had tipped and lost its load. When members arrived a the scene, they discovered that a woman was trapped inside a pickup truck and a man deceased underneath the fallen logs.

Student wins speaking competition

An Isfeld student’s speech resonated in a speaking competition for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, enough to take first place. Quinn Hoar, who is in Grade 9, took part last year, but came out on top in the province this time at the Spotlight event, held in April.

Decriminalization approved

Health Canada approved B.C.’s request to decriminalize small possessions of illicit drugs, although at a lower threshold than the province sought. Beginning on Jan. 31, 2023, British Columbians 18 and older will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of street drugs on them, which can include opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine or MDMA. Health Canada says the drugs must be for personal use only, and the program will be reviewed in three years.

Wiwchar honoured

The former Civic Square next to the Sid Williams Theatre on the corner of 5th Street and Cliffe Avenue was formally renamed the Randy Wiwchar Plaza. Wiwchar was a long-time City of Courtenay employee, youth and cultural advocate, community volunteer, youth sports coach and mentor.

Serious dog attack

A woman was taken to hospital following a report of a dog attack in Courtenay. Comox Valley RCMP spokesperson Const. Monika Terragni told media around 8:30 p.m. on May 31, police received a report of a dog attack in the Braidwood Road area of Courtenay. She said upon attending, a dog off-leash had attacked another woman’s dog who was on leash causing her to fall over. She went to the hospital to examine potential injuries sustained as a result.

Liquor store stabbing

One man is in hospital and three youths have been arrested following a stabbing incident at the Mex Liquor Store in Courtenay. Comox Valley RCMP confirmed that three youths, all under the age of 18, were arrested in connection with the incidents, but did not respond when asked whether charges were laid. They did confirm the victim is recovering in hospital.

Vanier twins land big scholarships

Two G.P. Vanier Secondary brothers will have a significant amount of their post-secondary studies paid for thanks to a major scholarship worth $40,000 respectively. Twin brothers Loki and Cain Tipton both received Beedie Luminaries awards, a scholarship for 140 Grade 12 students that recognize academic readiness and resiliency created by Ryan Beedie for his foundation.

Face of the Comox Valley unhoused dies

Bob Galligan – who for many people and for many years was the face of the unhoused population in the Comox Valley – passed away at age 64 on June 13. Once known around town as Bob the Bum, Galligan lived a hard life. After losing most of his family in a car crash, he spent many years living on the street, drank heavily and did time in jail. But he managed to turn his life around, with help from the Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness Society, and in 2013, the non-profit arranged housing for him in Comox – and helped shed the moniker of Bob the Bum.

New Wing commander

Col. J.P. Gagnon assumed command of 19 Wing Comox from Col. Rhonda Stevens on June 23, with the ceremony presided over by Maj.-Gen Eric Kenny, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Valley students shine at Improv Games

Comox Valley students dominated the Canadian Improv Games with Highland’s team “Technically…It’s improv” Winnipeg the senior competition for the first time. School District 71 schools also won the junior competition for students in grades 7-10, with the “Senior Junior” team from Isfeld and Vanier’s junior team, the Awkward Elbows, tying for first place overall.

BUSINESS

Graham’s changes hands

Graham’s Jewellers recently underwent an ownership change. The long-running business in downtown Courtenay will continue to operate as Graham’s Jewellers, despite no longer having a family connection. The business had previously even called Simms and Sons, and then Crosby’s before it became Graham’s Jewellers – all at the same location. The iconic clock was installed in 1951. Melanie Coulter and Greg Chadwick are the new owners.

Swoop Airlines touches down at YQQ

Swoop Airlines officially landed in Comox. On June 9, the inaugural flight from Edmonton to Comox landed shortly after 8 a.m. from the second ultra-low-cost-carrier to service the Comox Valley Airport within the past few months.

Sports

Silver for Isfeld

The Isfeld Ice rugby team won silver at the BC high school rugby championships in Abbotsford, following a dominating season that saw the Ice go undefeated in the regular season.

Eight-year-old golf prodigy

Eight-year-old Lewis Green of Courtenay qualified to represent Canada at the IMG Junior World Golf Championships, after shooting a one-under-par 35 at a nine-hole tournament at the Golden Eagle Golf Club in Pitt Meadows.

 

Loki (left) and Cain Tipton both received Beedie Luminaries awards worth $40,000 each. Photo submitted

File photo of Bob Galligan.

Swoop Airlines landed at the Comox Valley Airport in June 2022. (Contributed)

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