Jody Williams and Anita Laminman are a popular pair in the Cowichan Bay.
Williams loves fishing and golfing and they’re both the most at peace out on the water.
“My mom loves to joke about how the pod of orcas in the area are her closest friends,” explained Kat Skakun, Laminman’s daughter. “Sometimes I don’t know how much she’s joking.”
Together now, for some six years, Williams and Laminman met in the Bay, they live in the Bay, and they pretty much know everyone in the Bay and everyone seems to know them too. It comes as no surprise then, that the people of the Bay are stepping up to help Williams and Laminman when they need it most.
After an altercation on the dock on May 28 that left Williams in critical condition and in a medically induced coma and has Laminman travelling to and from Victoria regularly to be with him, the Cowichan Bay community went to work.
It began with a coffee can at the local grocery store.
“Joe Meyer was the kind soul in charge of the coffee can,” Skakun said.
Meyer shared a photo of the coffee can on the Cowichan Bay and Friends public Facebook with a caption that summed it up: “…sorry if its blocking a nice view in this shot but I just wanted to make the point that the real beauty of this town is the love concern and caring and kindness that you folks do for your friends neighbours and strangers in this town!!!”
The can was removed in favour of a different fundraising method.
“I started the GoFundMe page after I saw a need for it,” Skakun explained. “Many people couldn’t get into the Bay physically to donate, but they still wanted to contribute in some way.”
And contribute they have.
“The community has been so wonderful through all of this but isn’t just monetary donations that we’re getting from them,” she added. “Marlin Motors has especially been wonderful. They’ve been good about making sure that Mom’s truck is in good shape and have been generous enough to donate a year’s worth of storage to one of either Jody’s or my Mom’s boats after we get it out of the water.”
The kind act will cut moorage fees in half and keep one vessel safe while it’s not in use in the months to come.
The folks at Ocean Eco Adventures, a Cowichan Bay business, and at Hudson Bay Transport are taking care of the move and situating of the boat for Laminman.
Other residents have offered up anything and everything to help make sure Laminman’s own medical needs are met as she makes the daily round trip.
“The overwhelming love and support boggles my mind….” Laminman wrote on Facebook. “Things I had only begun to anticipate are becoming fast realities, and I am totally overwhelmed by looking to the future… money can’t replace what is lost, but it makes finding the new norm easier to bear.”
Skakun said it’s hard to give any sort of update on Williams because “things change so fast in these kinds of traumatic injuries,” she said. “The best update I can give is that he is still very much in critical condition.”
For now though, Skakun, who doesn’t live in Cowichan Bay, said she’s so relieved the community support is there for her family and that the GoFundMe campaign has already raised $3,000 in just two days.
“Everyone is very protective of each other,” she said. “Every dollar and every share really helps.”
To help visit: https://www.gofundme.com/help-fund-anitas-trips-to-the-hospital
“Jody taught me so much…. many of these lessons are coming into play to help me create a mobile working/living environment,” Laminman wrote. “Our off grid, small space living attitude will come in handy here. Thank you again so much to everyone…. keep sending healing, loving energy or prayers, he needs it.”
Police are still seeking witnesses.