I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my relations, friends and neighbours for the food, best wishes and kind words given to me during the loss of my wife and partner, Ruby.
A special thanks to Luc Laprairie and the doctors and nurses at Cariboo Memorial Hospital for their kindness.
This will never be forgotten.
How to say thank you?
The miracle given to us by some amazing people who work for Mount Polley Mine need more than a thank you.
Back in August, my husband and I were camped at Polley Lake, enjoying the beauty and serenity of having the whole campsite to ourselves. We fished a bit, swam a bit, and paddled our little red canoe up and down the lake half a dozen times. The weekend was perfect.
So when we awoke to discover the lake had come up on the shoreline 20 feet, and trees crowded the far bank, mud splashed 50 feet up into the tree line, we couldn’t comprehend what we were seeing. You all know what happened, the mine’s tailing pond had breached. We slept right through it. When you grow up around logging equipment, and mining equipment, loud noises are nothing new, so we honestly didn’t differentiate the roaring noise of the breach from the usual mine sounds.
My husband waded out into the lake up to his neck, trying to see our canoe. You see, the canoe has a special place in our hearts; my uncle had repaired it after a tree had broken it in half, and given it to us on our anniversary three years prior. It had taken us to dozens of lakes we had never been on before and the memories associated with it were innumerable and precious. So it was a little like losing a family member when we realized that it had been swept away by the flood waters.
But –– we were alive, and in good health, and could return to our children (who were camping with their grandpa Brian and grandma Laura at a lake in Beaver Valley) and who can ask for more?
We had planned on waiting until the cleanup was complete (by the way, the beaches of Polley and Quesnel Lakes have never been so clean in my life. Great work by everybody) and we would see if we could salvage even a piece of our beloved canoe.
Then, a genuine Christmas miracle.
A message from my cousin’s dear wife, Tracy Benastick, that some truly amazing people (Geoff O’Sullivan and Scott Gerbin and I’m not even sure who else, but thank you, thank you) had gone out on their weekend off and chipped our little red canoe out of the mud and water that was slowly swallowing it where it has rested since August at the end of Polley Lake. In spite of all of the terrible events that followed the breach, good people, employees of Mount Polley Mine, took it upon themselves to risk injury for a stranger’s canoe. When we heard it had been salvaged, we danced our happiest happy dance.
This community is amazing. I love the Cariboo, the place where no one is a stranger, and no cause is too small to be taken up and fought for. No other place on Earth like it.
Lac La Hache