A special parade, called the Convoy for Wilder wound its way along Cobble Hill’s quiet roads on Sunday, July 7.
“We were trying to bring a little boy’s sandbox to life,” says organizer Raymond Ridge, a friend of the family of young Wilder World, who died tragically in an accident in his own driveway at the end of June.
Big trucks, little trucks, farm equipment, fire trucks, motorcycles, “everything that will make a kid’s eyes light up” was to be part of the cavalcade, he said.
They were there, too.
Assembling at Country Grocer at Valleyview and then heading out at 3 p.m. along Cobble Hill Road, the cavalcade only ran into one slight problem: it was pouring rain throughout the event.
But that didn’t stop anyone, and lots of families lined up along the roads of Cobble Hill to watch everyone drive by.
“We talked to the RCMP and found we couldn’t stop. We had to do a continuous loop and then disperse from there,” Ridge said.
They left Country Grocer then travelled down Cobble Hill Road, to Hutchinson Road and made an immediate left on Watson Road, and finally a right in front of Evergreen School where a memorial service for Wilder took place.
Even though they couldn’t stop they wanted to bring the street alive with childlike excitement, Ridge said.
“We’re going to bring the boy’s toys out of the sandbox alive for them and show ’em what we’ve got. We’re not carrying toys, we’re bringing what a boy would have in his sandbox to real life: sand trucks, dump trucks, cement trucks, Harleys, police cars, fire trucks. We’re bringing everything a kid plays with in his sandbox. We’re having a convoy.
“Those young boys witnessed what happened to their brother, and everybody’s going to be upset at the service. I’m just trying to make everybody get a piece of happiness. It’s going to be super cool. I’m not looking for anything out of it. I just want to see the family happy. I know Travis the father really well. I know Pam the mother really well. We all went to school together: all local from the Cowichan Valley. I knew, with my line of work, and the people I associate with, I knew I could make this happen. It’s become awesome. I’m just doing this for the kids. They’re under the age of eight. As soon as they see fire trucks, the farm equipment, they’re going to light up. They’ll be smiling, laughing and pointing. That’s all I want to make happen,” he said.