Photo: Fort St. John residents march along 100th Street as part of the Day of Mourning in the City – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca
By Christine Rumleskie
A sombre crowd marched silently through the rain on Wednesday to honour those that have lost their lives on the job.
As part of the Day of Mourning in Fort St. John, people marched from City Hall to the Workers’ Memorial in Centennial Park.
There, participants observed a minute of silence, and then local dignitaries laid wreaths and flowers at the memorial site.
BCGEU spokesperson Mark Gaehring helped organize the event. He says the third-annual memorial began after six survivors met in the rain four years ago to remember and honour their loved ones.
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Gaehring says in 2009, 121 people in B.C. died in the workplace. While that number has decreased from previous years, he says that number is still staggering.
Fort St. John Mayor Bruce Lantz agrees. He says the City is working closely with organizations to help prevent workplace incidents.
The theme for this year’s march was, "when someone dies at work, whole families are harmed." Gaerhing told the story of a woman, whose husband died at work, leaving the woman alone with their two-month old baby.
Gaerhing says those kinds of tragedies can be prevented.
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Despite the rain, Gaerhing says he was very happy with the roughly 30 people that attended the ceremony.
Photo: A young boy places a flower on the Workers’ Memorial at Centennial Park on Wednesday – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca