It happens every night at 7 p.m. in Harrison Hot Springs, rain or shine, without fail.
Though much of the noise to salute front line workers battling against COVID-19 has died down, one man has a perfect record when it comes to cheering them on: Harrison’s own Jack Knight.
While some banged pots and pans and others shouted and cheered, the former Ontario resident dusted off an old bugle and lets fly his own tribute to the COVID-19 front line workers.
“I’ve had this bugle for years,” Knight explained. “Back in March, I was really touched by all the front line workers and what they’re doing in hospitals, driving ambulences, working in stores and doing overtime. There are people standing behind every front line worker.”
The fire in his heart and the love he feels for those putting their lives on the line to keep the world running during the pandemic has not so much as faded since March.
“I blow my [bugle] eveyr night at 7 p.m. to let the whole neighbourhood know that, hey, I’m here for the front line workers and I praise them and honour them,” Knight added. “In the beginning, people were honking their horns, and it went on through the summer and sort of died off.”
Knight, now in his 80s, recently underwent roughly six to seven weeks of radiation treatment for prostate cancer and witnessed firsthand how the front lines operate.
“I see what these workers are doing, and they just have my heart,” he said. Knight added aside from fatigue, he hasn’t felt any symptoms since the treatment. He traveled every day from Harrison to Abbotsford for treatment. “I just have a heart for people and their stories, and you get to hear and see things that some people never get to see.”
Having been in his house for about 40 years, Knight’s bugle only came out for a dinner call during camping trips before COVID-19 hit.
“I’m getting pretty good!” Knight said, demonstrating a quick melody over the phone during an interview with the Observer. “It’s all in the lips.”
Knight’s tribute has earned him some cheerleaders across the street in the form of 2-year-old Carter and his family. Sometimes little Carter offers a high-five or a “Thank you, Jack!” from across the cul-de-sac.
“It’s a nice little community,” Knight said of his neighbourhood. “We look after each other all the time, and it’s kind of encouraging to see.”
Knight graciously accepts the thanks from neighbours when he goes out for his nightly tribute, doing it just as much for them as the first responders.
“I do this every night, I haven’t missed; it’s for them. They’re my support, too,” he added.
Knight urged the public to continue to take the pandemic seriously. A close friend of his saw no merit in wearing masks as a precaution against COVID-19, contracting a severe case and spending the better part of two weeks in the intensive care unit. The last Knight heard, fortunately, his friend was coming around.
“Don’t call it a hoax,” he added. “There are so many things going on. We cannot ignore all of these and we can’t dwell on it too much, but it’s there. This has taught me to just be thankful for every day that God gives us. Those are my thoughts.”
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.