Bench honours fallen friends

Dick Gardner has about 30 names carved into the memory bench in front of his house

Dick and Barbara Gardner stand with the Memory Bench in front of their house on Maple Street.

Dick and Barbara Gardner stand with the Memory Bench in front of their house on Maple Street.

A Hope resident has created a memory bench to honour his family and friends who have passed away.

The bench started as a tribute to his sister, Daryl Sullivan, who died in June 2013. Gardner initially built a memorial overlooking Kawkawa Lake with benches, flowers, and cedar trees. However, after it was vandalized twice and thrown into the lake, he decided to do something different.

Al Fletcher supplied Gardner with two 12-foot planks of wood to construct a memory bench. He carved his sister’s name into the wood using a dremel tool, stained it, and finished it off with a coat of varnish.

Gardner has since continued adding names as a way to remember his family and friends. There’s currently about 30 names carved into the bench. Over the winter, he plans on adding another half dozen people who passed away this year.

The bench sits in front of Gardner’s house on Maple Street from spring to fall. Gardner said people come by on a regular basis to look at the bench and he’s even received a few phone calls from others thanking him for his efforts.