Valley Journal Advertiser
West Hants’ flood victims ‘never forgotten’
As residents grieve for the two children, a teenager and an adult who were lost during flash flooding in July, a memorial in downtown Windsor is helping some say farewell.
Wrapped in colourful ribbons, the memorial tree for Wayne Boyd — a Windsor resident who enjoyed sitting at the picnic table underneath its branches years ago — has blossomed into a place to also remember West Hants’ flood victims.
Dozens of stuffed toys, musical instruments and trinkets have been added, alongside photos of the four people. Solar lights have also been strung.
“Besides the fact that I knew two of them personally, I just felt it was something that had to be done to remember them,” said Christina Dowe, who was one of the people who helped decorate the tree.
The tree honours Nicholas Holland, 52, Colton Sisco, 6, Natalie Harnish, 6, and TerriLynn Keddy, 14.
She said the idea came a few days after the July 21-22 storm that resulted in road washouts, damaged infrastructure, emergency evacuations, rescues, and a search that lasted more than a week for the four missing people.
“I don’t want any of these people forgotten,” said Dowe.
WARMS THE HEART
Helping to decorate the tree initially were Joleen Brown, Tina Barry, David Ettinger, Lisa Lantz, Chrystina Purvis, and Claudette Maxwell. Since then, people have been dropping off items daily. It warms Dowe’s heart to see the community come together to honour them.
Holland, a father of two, was a bassist in the heavy metal band Hogtooth.
Colton loved superheroes, farming, and the cartoon Grizzy and the Lemmings.
Natalie enjoyed dressing up as a princess, the colour purple, visiting Oaklawn Farm Zoo and cheerleading.
Terri-Lynn, who had recently battled cancer, was the last flood victim to be recovered after extensive search efforts, which was on Aug. 1.
Dowe said Terry-Lynn
“was always smiling, always a happy girl.”
Dowe is looking to find some Tinkerbell and Hannah Montana items to add to the tree in Terri-Lynn’s memory.
Dowe hopes the tree will remain decorated as a reminder of the beautiful lives that were cut short.
“I’m down here every morning and every night,” said Dowe, sitting at the nearby picnic bench with a friend on Aug. 3.
It’s one of her go-to places in town.
“I don’t want this (memorial) to leave. We’re going to keep it here as long as we can keep it here.”
When addressing media on Aug. 2, West Hants Mayor Abraham Zebian noted all four missing members of the community were brought home to their loved ones.
“Each and every single one of them was an independent individual who was … a part of our fabric and will always be part of us — in our hearts, in our minds, in every place we look,” he said.
To the families, he noted: “The whole community has become your family.”