A solemn convoy of municipal trucks from all over Greater Victoria turned onto Oak Bay Avenue Thursday, paying tribute to Steve Seekins, the Oak Bay municipal worker that was killed on the job May 17.
Colleague Pat Smith organized a GoFundMe account to raise funds for his family. In the days since the incident, over $100,000 has been raised for the family.
Smith told CHEK News that Seekins was very much a family man that brought a smile to anyone fortunate enough to get to meet him.
“Steve was just an absolutely amazing person. Just absolutely every day showed up with a smile on his face. Took every task at hand, and just did them with a smile. Always, always talked about his family. His children, his wife. Just honestly — I’ve never met someone so genuine. It’s really tough.”
Oak Bay’s Police Chief, Constable Mark Fisher, told reporters on the day of the accident that a speeding SUV travelling southbound on Monterey Avenue jumped the curb, then struck and killed Seekins, a married father of two.
“On the face of it seems very senseless. It’s disturbing, it’s frustrating. And it’s upsetting, I’m sure, to all members of the community,” Fisher said.
Seekins started as a labourer with Oak Bay Public Works less than a year ago.
But in that short time, he made an impact.
“Because of his genuine nature, and he’s just super kind,” Smith said.
The GoFundMe account is now approaching its $150,000 goal.
Thursday, his union put on a barbeque to help his family get through this tragedy.
Adam Major, a pipefitter with CUPE Local 374, made arrangements for the event on the grounds of Oak Bay’s municipal hall.
“By purchasing some time for them, we hope that we can help with their grieving process. If we have to do it again in six months to help them, we will. If we have to do it in a year, we will,” Major said.
Municipal employees travelled from around Greater Victoria to pay their respects.
Michael Burns is an employee with the District of North Saanich, and said this strikes close to home.
“We love our jobs. But we want to go home at the end of the day. It’s great to see the support of the community. And it’s an honour to represent North Saanich in this capacity,” Burns said.
Hazel Braithwaite, acting Oak Bay Mayor, said that in difficult times Oak Bay residents will always offer assistance.
“We don’t have a lot of incidents like this that happen in our community. But when we do, the fabric of our community comes out. Because we come together,” Braithwaite said.
In 2015, Seekins spoke about the importance of his family while appearing in a company video made for SECURE Energy, his former employer, while they were living in Grande Prairie, Alta.
“I have a young son, and a wife. I made a commitment a long time ago that I wasn’t going to miss my son’s childhood,” Seekins said during the old company video.