Take a walk down memory lane, through the year that was

Long-time Hope Curling Club member, Deb McKinney helps Nyah Thiessen plan her shot during a junior curling session at the Hope Curling Club. The session was part of a school program introducing middle school students to the sport. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)Long-time Hope Curling Club member, Deb McKinney helps Nyah Thiessen plan her shot during a junior curling session at the Hope Curling Club. The session was part of a school program introducing middle school students to the sport. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)
Helicopter support arrives on site of the Hope Slide, January 1965. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Flickr)Helicopter support arrives on site of the Hope Slide, January 1965. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Flickr)
Ray and Pat Daws take a break during the Hope Library Third Annual Jigsaw Competition. (Chris Duchaine/ Black Press)Ray and Pat Daws take a break during the Hope Library Third Annual Jigsaw Competition. (Chris Duchaine/ Black Press)
Hope Jamie Riddell (left) and Keith Acton have a chat on the bench, between shifts on January 25. The event brought out Hope locals to compete against heavy hitting former Montreal Canadiens players including coach Steve Shutt, Richard Sevigny and Jesse Belanger. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)Hope Jamie Riddell (left) and Keith Acton have a chat on the bench, between shifts on January 25. The event brought out Hope locals to compete against heavy hitting former Montreal Canadiens players including coach Steve Shutt, Richard Sevigny and Jesse Belanger. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)
The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit was called to the Hope RCMP detachment on Jan. 31, to deal with a war artifact brought in by someone in the community. (RCMP photo)The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit was called to the Hope RCMP detachment on Jan. 31, to deal with a war artifact brought in by someone in the community. (RCMP photo)
Gladys McArthur turned 100 on Feb. 8, and family visited to celebrate the milestone with here in Hope. (Submitted photo)Gladys McArthur turned 100 on Feb. 8, and family visited to celebrate the milestone with here in Hope. (Submitted photo)
Hope Wildcats’ Hockey 4 goalie, Mya Post of Agassiz deflects a Chilliwack shot to safety, in the opening game of their home tournament, Feb .7. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)Hope Wildcats’ Hockey 4 goalie, Mya Post of Agassiz deflects a Chilliwack shot to safety, in the opening game of their home tournament, Feb .7. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)
A snow building contest was one of the many events at Sunshine Valley’s WinterFest Feb. 16, . (Chris Duchaine/ Black Press)A snow building contest was one of the many events at Sunshine Valley’s WinterFest Feb. 16, . (Chris Duchaine/ Black Press)
Hope Wildcats Atom C team won the banner for 2019/2020, for the Fraser Valley East. (Chris Duchaine/ Hope Standard)Hope Wildcats Atom C team won the banner for 2019/2020, for the Fraser Valley East. (Chris Duchaine/ Hope Standard)
The “Chain of Fools” race was a favourite game at a February indoor track meet at Silver Creek Elementary School, with shuttles of four students transferring the entire team to the other end of the gym. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)The “Chain of Fools” race was a favourite game at a February indoor track meet at Silver Creek Elementary School, with shuttles of four students transferring the entire team to the other end of the gym. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)
Jaxson Wilkins poses in front of the “I” in KIND wall at Hope secondary on Kindness Day. (Submitted photo)Jaxson Wilkins poses in front of the “I” in KIND wall at Hope secondary on Kindness Day. (Submitted photo)
Kya Patterson, 11, sits on the rainbow sidewalk at Yale First Nation. (Kat Stirling photo)Kya Patterson, 11, sits on the rainbow sidewalk at Yale First Nation. (Kat Stirling photo)
Deb McKinney and Terry Foord work their way down the rink at the Hope Curling Club. They earned their way into the 2020 Mixed Doubles Provincial Championships, hosted in Hope. (Pattie Desjardins/ Hope Standard)Deb McKinney and Terry Foord work their way down the rink at the Hope Curling Club. They earned their way into the 2020 Mixed Doubles Provincial Championships, hosted in Hope. (Pattie Desjardins/ Hope Standard)
A night view of the bridge over the Fraser River. (Kelsey Luinge photo)A night view of the bridge over the Fraser River. (Kelsey Luinge photo)
Close to 200 family, friends and skating fans turned out to see the Hope Skating Club’s “Skating Through the Decades” ice carnival March 7. After 16 routines, some 40 skaters poured onto the ice for the finale, celebrating the close of the season to “We Go Together” from the musical Grease. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)Close to 200 family, friends and skating fans turned out to see the Hope Skating Club’s “Skating Through the Decades” ice carnival March 7. After 16 routines, some 40 skaters poured onto the ice for the finale, celebrating the close of the season to “We Go Together” from the musical Grease. (Barry Stewart/ Hope Standard)
Shelves were starting to thin at the Hope Save-on Foods, where even paper towel was being snapped up in mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic began in earnest in B.C. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)Shelves were starting to thin at the Hope Save-on Foods, where even paper towel was being snapped up in mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic began in earnest in B.C. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)
Ray Slanzi is the creator behind this steampunk robot art piece, named ‘COVID’, that appeared along Elder Road in April. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)Ray Slanzi is the creator behind this steampunk robot art piece, named ‘COVID’, that appeared along Elder Road in April. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
A rock inspired by the history of the Fraser Canyon is just one of hundreds of creations by rock hunting enthusiasts in the Hope area. A Facebook group dedicated to rock hunting locally grew to over 1,000 members and provided a safe activity during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Submitted photoA rock inspired by the history of the Fraser Canyon is just one of hundreds of creations by rock hunting enthusiasts in the Hope area. A Facebook group dedicated to rock hunting locally grew to over 1,000 members and provided a safe activity during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Submitted photo
The Fraser Canyon Hospital’s healthcare workers greet the first responders saluting them Tuesday. Emelie Peacock/Hope StandardThe Fraser Canyon Hospital’s healthcare workers greet the first responders saluting them Tuesday. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Balan Moorthy, pictured with his wife Shalegh, is SD78’s new superintendent. Submitted photoBalan Moorthy, pictured with his wife Shalegh, is SD78’s new superintendent. Submitted photo
Hope’s healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic were honoured this spring with 7 p.m. salutes from first responders and residents, as well as other shows of support around town and online. (Submitted photo)Hope’s healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic were honoured this spring with 7 p.m. salutes from first responders and residents, as well as other shows of support around town and online. (Submitted photo)
Five-year-old Elias had around 45 cars come by his home in Silver Creek to wish him a happy birthday in April. Submitted photoFive-year-old Elias had around 45 cars come by his home in Silver Creek to wish him a happy birthday in April. Submitted photo
Kalen, left, and Sydney Luck get ready for their teachers to parade by them in April. Organized by staff at the school, the parade snaked through Hope passing as many students homes as possible. Emelie Peacock/Hope StandardKalen, left, and Sydney Luck get ready for their teachers to parade by them in April. Organized by staff at the school, the parade snaked through Hope passing as many students homes as possible. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
April Parisian’s mom Keitha Parisian, right, and her sister-in-law Leeann Nett at a May 23 vigil for her. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)April Parisian’s mom Keitha Parisian, right, and her sister-in-law Leeann Nett at a May 23 vigil for her. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Hunters led the search into the Spuzzum backcountry. It was one of several the family have organized since they reported Parisian missing April 15. Emelie Peacock/Hope StandardHunters led the search into the Spuzzum backcountry. It was one of several the family have organized since they reported Parisian missing April 15. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
This photo was on the front page of the Hope Standard’s April 23 edition, as family began organizing massive searches for their loved one April Parisian of Spuzzum. Despite an ongoing police investigation and continued searches, fundraising and appeals by family, Parisian has not been located. (Submitted photo)This photo was on the front page of the Hope Standard’s April 23 edition, as family began organizing massive searches for their loved one April Parisian of Spuzzum. Despite an ongoing police investigation and continued searches, fundraising and appeals by family, Parisian has not been located. (Submitted photo)
Tammy Francis, left, embraces Carmel Crowchild. Francis thanked the people who came out to search the Spuzzum backcountry April 26, some who didn’t know her missing loved one April Parisian, describing her cousin as a “loving, beautiful person…whatever happened to her, she didn’t deserve it.” Emelie Peacock/Hope StandardTammy Francis, left, embraces Carmel Crowchild. Francis thanked the people who came out to search the Spuzzum backcountry April 26, some who didn’t know her missing loved one April Parisian, describing her cousin as a “loving, beautiful person…whatever happened to her, she didn’t deserve it.” Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
One sign read ‘we will miss him’ spelled out in hearts, at John Koopman’s celebration of life parade May 11. Emelie Peacock/Hope StandardOne sign read ‘we will miss him’ spelled out in hearts, at John Koopman’s celebration of life parade May 11. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Barry Stewart remembers his friend John Koopman as someone who got things done and worked his students hard, but also had plenty of time for fun and experimentation. Not to mention the pranks. (Barry Stewart photo)Barry Stewart remembers his friend John Koopman as someone who got things done and worked his students hard, but also had plenty of time for fun and experimentation. Not to mention the pranks. (Barry Stewart photo)
Linda Kay Peters says she was remembering her neice Shawnee Inyallie on Red Dress Day May 5, who went missing in the summer of 2018. Inyallie’s body was later found in the Fraser River, over 150 kilometres downstream from where she was last seen in Hope. The black design on the red dress behind her is her own said Peters, who is a fashion designer. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)Linda Kay Peters says she was remembering her neice Shawnee Inyallie on Red Dress Day May 5, who went missing in the summer of 2018. Inyallie’s body was later found in the Fraser River, over 150 kilometres downstream from where she was last seen in Hope. The black design on the red dress behind her is her own said Peters, who is a fashion designer. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Owners of Hope Mountain Cafe on 3 Avenue and Wallace Street Jennifer Lee, left and Peter Jung took a cautious approach to re-opening, starting with take-out only, in May. Emelie Peacock/Hope StandardOwners of Hope Mountain Cafe on 3 Avenue and Wallace Street Jennifer Lee, left and Peter Jung took a cautious approach to re-opening, starting with take-out only, in May. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
These brave women took the plunge at the Jan. 1, 2019 Polar Bear Swim at Kawkawa Lake. (Submitted photo)These brave women took the plunge at the Jan. 1, 2019 Polar Bear Swim at Kawkawa Lake. (Submitted photo)
Seven members of the Hope Fire Department participated in a 750-stair climb fully clad in firefighting gear including carbon fibre oxygen tanks on Feb. 23. That’s about 60 pounds to lug up the 48-storey climb, a challenge Hope’s firefighters are well-versed in, having done the Climb the Wall fundraiser for five years in a row now. (Submitted photo)Seven members of the Hope Fire Department participated in a 750-stair climb fully clad in firefighting gear including carbon fibre oxygen tanks on Feb. 23. That’s about 60 pounds to lug up the 48-storey climb, a challenge Hope’s firefighters are well-versed in, having done the Climb the Wall fundraiser for five years in a row now. (Submitted photo)
A family member squeezes in a last minute grad gift ahead of a community parade along 4th Avenue honouring Hope Secondary’s 2020 graduates. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)A family member squeezes in a last minute grad gift ahead of a community parade along 4th Avenue honouring Hope Secondary’s 2020 graduates. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
‘Wave to the drone, guys’ was the instruction as Hope Secondary’s class of 2020 assembled - at a physical distance - for a grad class drone shot. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)‘Wave to the drone, guys’ was the instruction as Hope Secondary’s class of 2020 assembled - at a physical distance - for a grad class drone shot. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Terrie Fleet said she didn’t think she would ever see her 10-year-old cat Lloyd again after all the years he was away. She happened upon the cat in a Facebook post in May and was able to coax him out of the bush where he had been living and back home. (Submitted photo)Terrie Fleet said she didn’t think she would ever see her 10-year-old cat Lloyd again after all the years he was away. She happened upon the cat in a Facebook post in May and was able to coax him out of the bush where he had been living and back home. (Submitted photo)
Signs of all sizes at a Saturday, June 6 rally against racism in Hope, the first of such gatherings in the community as the world saw mass gatherings and protests spurred by the death of African-American ma George Floyd while being arrested by Minneapolis police. (Submitted photo)Signs of all sizes at a Saturday, June 6 rally against racism in Hope, the first of such gatherings in the community as the world saw mass gatherings and protests spurred by the death of African-American ma George Floyd while being arrested by Minneapolis police. (Submitted photo)
One of Hope’s most photographed wood carvings, the bear in Memorial Park, will keep a watchful eye on two bear cub carvings installed in the park in June. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)One of Hope’s most photographed wood carvings, the bear in Memorial Park, will keep a watchful eye on two bear cub carvings installed in the park in June. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Carli Spielman runs Wild Rabbit Flowers, an event floral studio specializing in weddings, from her home studio and garden in Hope. Grief and shock were how she described the first few weeks of the pandemic and its effect on the wedding industry. (Submitted/Wild Rabbit Flowers photo)Carli Spielman runs Wild Rabbit Flowers, an event floral studio specializing in weddings, from her home studio and garden in Hope. Grief and shock were how she described the first few weeks of the pandemic and its effect on the wedding industry. (Submitted/Wild Rabbit Flowers photo)

Here’s a look back at the year that was, starting with the months of January to June…

January

The year started with the customary dip in Kawkawa Lake, attempted by the brave and shunned by the faint of heart. It’s a tradition that won’t be taking place this Jan. 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic, something perhaps none of the swimmers at the Jan. 1, 2020 dip could have imagined. Around 200 showed up to take the plunge, with Brian McKinney hosting the countdown and the Lions Club keeping people warm after their dip with food and beverages. While 2019 involved a snow and ice covered lake, this Jan. 1 was balmy with a high of 13.1C.

The RCMP were cleared of any misconduct this January by the investigating body the Independent Investigations Office of BC, after a May 2019 crash following a break in to a Hope business resulted in the death of a motorcyclist. The incident started at 4:44 a.m. when police were alerted to a break-and-enter at a business on Old Hope Princeton Way, after which the suspect fled on a stolen motorcycle. Police in an unmarked car on the same road attempted to signal to the man, he did not stop and crashed further up the road. The man suffered serious head injuries which proved fatal.

Sixty five years to the day of the Hope Slide, radio reporter for CHWK Gerald Pash remembered covering one of the worst landslide disasters in Canada. It was on Jan. 9, 1965 when 50 million tonnes of debris fell away from a mountainside up what is now Highway 3, covering the highway and filling the valley floor in a disaster which left four travellers dead. Pash, now 75, remembered starting that day with a routine check of overnight incidents at local RCMP detachments. Hope’s RCMP watch commander first told him there had been a few small slides up the Hope-Princeton and police had been sent to investigate. “He called back a half hour later and we learned that the whole mountain had come down,” Pash recalled. A reporter was dispatched to the slide, and the news was prepared on the tools of the day – a manual tipewriter, tape recorders and large format reel to reel tape machines. “Ours were the first reports of the slide…we wrote the first version of history,” Pash said.

January saw the roll out of new waste bins to Hope residents, an endeavour so controversial some in private chats dubbed it ‘garbagegate.’ At issue was the size of the bins, 65 gallons, as well as some concerns around bear proofing and waste sorting. Yet delivered they were, and came into use early this year.

NHL on-ice official Jay Sharrers was inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame, a nod to his skill during 1,419 regular season games and 204 Stanley Cup playoffs. Born in Jamaica and raised in Hope, Sharrers also officiated at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, as well as numerous Stanley Cup finals and All Star Games.

The last weekend of January saw strong winds and torrential rain which had Dogwood Valley homes on an evacuation order and had one man trapped in a midslide in his vehicle up Silver Skagit Road. Further up the canyon in Yale, Michael Gallivan praised the volunteer firefighters of Yale for rescuing people stranded in a local RV park by the ensuing mud and water slide. Gallivan recounts the first person the firefighters hoisted out, 102-year-old Jack, carrying him wheelchair and all to safe ground. “They did a helluva job!” said Jack, after the rescue.

Read more: Yale firefighters go beyond the call of duty

February

Former Hope resident and business owner Jason Graff pled guilty to charges of child luring, with the offence listed as having taken place in Hope in 2018, in Chilliwack court Feb. 7. Graff, who also faces two charges of posession of child pornography, faces the mandatory minimum of 6 months in jail. The former owner of private security firm BC Protection Services, is set to be sentenced on all three charges on Jan. 28, 2021 at the Chilliwack Law Courts.

On February 18, a body was discovered in the King’s Court apartment complex which had recently suffered a house fire. Police said there was no evidence to suggest the fire was caused by a criminal act, and it was not clear whether the person died prior to or due to the fire.

Hope, a curling loving town, hosted the BC Curling Mixed Doubles Championship at the end of February. Sixteen teams including Deb McKinney and Terry Foord competed in the event, with the Hope duo having a tough go at the event with one win in seven games as Foord tweaked his back in their second game. Hope’s curling community pulled out all the stops in hosting the event, which was kicked off by senior curler Jimmy Toy delivering the first rock.

A years long conflict involving Peters First Nation Band Council and the children of two band members came to a resolution in February, as a federal court judge the council to grant full band membership to Amber Ragan and Brandon Engstrom. In ordering the band to accept their membership applications, Justice Robert Barnes said the council had “repeatedly shown itself to be unfit to decide these matters and there is no reasonable expectation that fairness and reason will now prevail” and suggested the decision to refuse the siblings application was an “unwillingness to share band resources.” Another membership issue involving Guy Peters’ attempts to become a member, has still not been settled.

Hope’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team brought back medals from a Feb. 29 competition in Kelowna, including two bronze medals, four silver medals and a runner up for Coach Egzon Emile in the Absolute Purple Belt Challenge.

March

As news of a mysterious new virus began to circle the globe, the first coronavirus-related story appeared in the Hope Standard. Two people with coronavirus had been identified in the Fraser Health region, a Feb. 28 letter to school districts in the health region read.

Our March 12 edition of included a story about UFV researchers receiving $274,000 to study preventative measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, and a warning from since-retired Chilliwack Progress editor Greg Knill about both the virus and irrational reactions to it “like shunning Chinese restaurants, emptying store shelves of surgical masks or stockpiling toilet paper.” “This epidemic is likely to get worse before it gets better,” he penned prophetically, “but panic is never a good response. We need cool heads that can see past the paranoia, xenophobia and political expediency.”

In the same issue, people were still planning for the future – hosting bannock taco fundraisers, planning for the summer Camp Skylark – not knowing that the spread of the pandemic would prompt a shutdown of the local economy and mass cancellations of gatherings and events.

As the pandemic overtook the province and the news cycle, our local paper also carried a slew of coronavirus coverage. Hope’s businesses were taking a hit in mid-March, with a local hotel owner saying they had been receiving cancellations daily and Manning Park Resort suspending operations. Virtually all Hope businesses were affected by the pandemic, AdvantageHOPE found, with 75 per cent of survey respondents stating that they had seen a decrease in revenue and 57 per cent had found a decrease in demand.

Meanwhile, some Hope businesses saw a kind of pandemic boom in demand for their products. Facing empty shelves and what looked like panic buying of certain items, local grocery stores began imposing limits on the quantity of items running low including milk, toilet paper, disenfectant wipes and canned soups.

The list of cancelled events was growing throughout the month, including the South Coast Women’s Hockey League provincial championship slated to take place at the end of March in Hope as well as the hospital auxiliary’s Fashion Show. The library and the rec centre shut down, and the March 19 edition began carrying ads for hand sanitizer.

Then hospitals, clinics and seniors homes began shutting their doors to visitors in late March, a situation which has stretched on for over half a year for residents of local seniors homes. How Hope’s emergency shelter would handle the pandemic guidelines was a question grapped with by the organization running the shelter, the Hope and Area Transition Society (HATS), who in April began operating additional spaces at a local motel to ensure residents could stay physically distanced and have space for isolation should someone test positive for COVID-19.

Read more: Inside an experiment in supportive housing in Hope

Three people linked to Hope died of suspected drug overdoses in March, four years since the declaration of a public health emergency in B.C. related to opioid overdoses. The demand for harm reduction supplies also increased in Hope, yet whether this demand was due to the pandemic was too early to speculate said leaders at Fraser Health.

Five local women were honoured for their contributions to the community on International Women’s Day March 8 – Debbie Pauls, Lorraine McDonald, Healther Krentz, Karen Scalise and Cathy Harry.

April

Right smack dab in the middle of a pandemic, a mysterious steampunk robot with the word COVID etched along its chest appeared in the Flood Hope road neighbourhood. At first the art piece was a mystery, then Ray Slanzi filled us in on how he created the 15-foot statue. “He turned out to be a bit bigger than I thought, a little uglier and mean-looking. So when this virus started, I said, ‘Why don’t I just name him Covid?’” Slanzi remarked. Yet the project, which included parts of compressors, boats and even a pasta maker as well as scrap metals, was something Slanzi had wanted to complete for 20 years.

As everyone was being told by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stay home and only go out unless “absolutely necessary,” many of you were making tough decisions. To keep their communities safe, local First Nations were putting up signs and installing security at the entrance to their lands as well as helping their members with essential foods which were hard to come by at this time of year. Several local businesses were closing voluntarily and others were reducing their hours in response to new provincial health orders.

Others were figuring out how to care for their loved ones who were most at risk. Jason Crosier told the Hope Standard he had decided to stay home and care for his wife Corinne who required personal care for multiple sclerosis. “There’s a lot of people out there that have to take this time, or might want to take this time because they don’t know how much time they have left with someone,” he said in an interview April 2.

Meanwhile, the phone line at Hope’s transition house for women leaving situations of family violence had gone silent even as a Vancouver domestic violence crisis line saw a 300 per cent spike in calls and police and politicians across Canada warned of increased rates of gender-based violence and domestic violence. Program manager Anna Gladue said likely women who need help weren’t finding the place or time to make a call or were worried about ruffling feathers when they made the move to make those calls. “We know that the most dangerous time for a woman who is fleeing is that time where she actually does make the plan to leave and is packed and walking out the door,” she said. As the pandemic wears on, executive director of HATS Gerry Dyble anticipated increased calls and increased demands for services for domestic violence survivors.

Longtime administrator with the Fraser-Cascade School District Karen Nelson retired this year, serving most recently 11 years as superintendent. “They are hard shoes to fill,” said Hope Secondary School principal Rosalee Floyd, at a January school board meeting. “I only wear a size 5,” Nelson joked. A new superintendent, former Langley principal Balan Moorthy, was announced as the new pick for the role in April.

Both Nelson and Moorthy were administrators during one of the most challenging years on record for the school district, as students were thrust into online learning as schools remained closed following spring break. Schools had to organize online learning and ensure students had access to materials from home, as well as find out how to support students for whom school was a safe haven for services such as breakfast and lunch programs and other support.

Locals were also trying to figure out how to celebrate their loved ones milestones – Vera Murphy marked her 85th birthday with a visit with family from the other side of her window, as well as honks and well wishes from neighbours. Her daughter Frances ‘Bubby’ Berthiaume set out 100 sunflower plants that she urged passerby to take as they honked or hollered a birthday greeting. “I tried keeping it a secret from my mom, which is really hard to do as we’re in the same house and we’re all on lockdown,” she told the Hope Standard. Hope mom Laina Rodney organized a ‘wave train’ for her son Elias’ fifth birthday and after a call out to the community to take part, 45 cars drove by their home.

As the majority of Hope and area residents stuck close to home, police saw both more calls to their detachment than usual and a decrease in property crime in March. A new type of call the Hope RCMP dealt with were public health-related calls as businesses including personal services and restaurant dine in were shut down and incoming travellers were mandated to quarantine.

Overcoming the nerves he feels in advance of performing, 15-year-old trumpet player Dylan Andrews began holding concerts from his balcony at Shxw’owhamel First Nation. Inspired by a variety of musicians in B.C. and across the world playing at 7 p.m. in honour of frontline workers, Andrews donned his cadet uniform and played a rendition of The Last Post April 5. His second performance included Taps and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. “Everyone should have hope,” he said, adding that the balcony concerts were a display of appreciation for frontline workers, essential workers and people affected by COVID-19.

A Fraser Canyon family began the work that no family would want to do, organizing massive community searches for their loved one April Parisian. The 45-year-old woman was last heard from on April 5 and on April 18 her boyfriend Paris Margesson was found by police inside her truck and camper with what police describe as a ‘self-inflicted wound’ at the border of Chilliwack and Abbotsford – despite the work of paramedics Margesson he passed away. After Margesson’s death the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) got involved in the investigation, and family began to contemplate the reality of finding their loved one deceased. “We are feeling in our hearts that we know we’re bringing a body home,” said April’s cousin Tammy Francis, adding that the alternative was even more horrific to contemplate. “Living with that horror is just, it’s really unbearable, of just not knowing.”

May

This month saw big events cancelled, including the first ever cancellation of Brigade Days in its 51-year history, as well as the postponement of the Ride to Conquer Cancer to 2021.

The sudden passing of longtime Hope educator, school board trustee and community member John Koopman May 6 prompted a large outpouring of grief and memories about the man whose mission was to make a difference for kids. A celebration of life held May 11 saw a line up of cars stretching around several blocks, as vehicles drove by Koopman’s family stationed at the doors of Coquihalla Elementary School to share the grief and give thanks, one of the many schools Koopman taught during his three decades as a teacher in the Fraser Cascade school district.

The trustee seat left vacant by Koopman’s passing continued to be empty as a byelection to fill the seat was cancelled by B.C.’s education minister amid the ongoing pandemic.

While some parks in the area opened to day use, other very popular spots such as the Othello Tunnels would remain shuttered throughout the summer of 2020. And even as AdvantageHOPE continued to ask visitors not to come here during the ongoing restrictions to non-essential travel outside communities, long weekends continued to see high traffic through Hope.

Linda Kay Peters told The Hope Standard about an initiative in the works, to have trained search and rescue volunteers in each First Nations community in B.C. It is an effort spurred on by Peters’ neice Shawnee Inyallie, who went missing in 2018 and whose body was found months later by the Fraser River in Delta. “It was really traumatizing on the family, it was our family doing all the searching,” she recalled of the months following Inyallie’s disappearance, adding that it was difficult to get police and professional searchers involved in her family’s efforts.

The local real estate market dipped the lowest it had in over a decade and lower than the 2008-09 recession this spring, a situation which would quickly change later in the year as the economy and businesses opened up.

Fitness businesses took different approaches to re-opening after an order closing gyms and fitness facilities was lifted at the end of the month. The Hope rec centre would remain closed until September. The Hope Yama Dojo stayed closed throughout the summer, meanwhile owner of yoga studio The Space Monica Cummins made the decision to close permanently. The Silver-Hope Dance Academy opened for a final month of classes and a COVID-19 friendly recital.

The new Fraser Valley hockey team – the Chilliwack Jets – signed Hope player Dawson Pelletier in May where he will potentially be a starting goaltender. “Dawson will bring stability between the pipes for the Jets,” the team stated. in announcing Pelletier’s signing along with defencemen Lucas Bourdon and Brett Krueger and Chilliwack’s Jacob Klaasen-Phillips and Lyndon Schroeder.

June

IHIT was called in and the Trans-Canada Highway was closed for the day June 3 as the body of 29-year-old Alicia Berg was discovered east of the Yale Tunnel. An investigation into Berg’s death continues.

Residents began to see activity along the Trans Mountain Expansion Project route, with pre-construction starting in June. Activity would ramp up significantly in the months following, including the building of a 350-person camp at Shxw’owhamel First Nations land in Laidlaw.

The 2020 homeless count found that shelter spaces, while having increased in number, were far outstripped by the number of people who are homeless in Hope and the eastern Fraser Valley. Hope had 36 shelter spaces and 69 people identified as homeless. As a percentage of the community, people with no fixed address made up 8 per cent of Hope and Boston Bar’s population.

Dr. Joshua Greggain received a rural service award for his 16 years as a doctor in Hope, starting with a residency in 2004.

Graduation was not cancelled in Fraser Cascade in 2020, yet it wasn’t the crowd rowsing tear-inducing celebration that grad normally is. Grads lined up along 4 Avenue, physically distanced as per the ‘new normal’, to receive the love and support of family, friends and community who drove by in droves. Then grads gathered outside on the Hope Secondary field, to wave to a drone flying overhead and throw their caps with (not so wild) abandon.

Each graduate then attended their own personal grad, where up to 10 guests could come along to. While the ceremony was a sign of the uncertain times, many of the 43 graduates of Hope Secondary, the 12 Two Rivers Education Centre grads and the one grad from Boston Bar Elementary-Secondary were more certain about their futures. “It doesn’t feel like I’m graduating because it’s not the same as it usually is…I just thought I would be more excited,” lamented Hope Secondary grad Faith Johnny, who was on the road to becoming a social worker after graduation.

Putting together the news this year were reporters Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock and Barry Stewart as well as reporters from across the Eastern Fraser Valley and Black Press Media. We had help from the ever-diligent proof reader and filler-in of community knowledge Pattie Desjardins, our supportive editor with the creative flair Ken Goudswaard and great leadership from publisher Carly Ferguson. Our contributors made our paper shine, including all of the prolific letter writers and photographers, as well as those who submitted news tips. Hats off to you for making The Hope Standard a true community paper.

Next week’s edition of the Hope Standard will carry our Year In Review special feature for the months of July to December.

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One Week at a Time: My doors will be open

Reporter Adam Louis introduces himself to Hope and the surrounding communities

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

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VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near Chilliwack secondary

Third high-school related assault Rob Iezzi’s cameras have captured since beginning of 2021

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

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