WATCH: Residents on Salt Spring Island started the new year with a special celebration. They came together for a special brunch honouring utility workers, first responders and anyone else that dove into action after that recent wind storm. Kendall Hanson was there.
It was a show of appreciation involving music, food and simply coming together as a community.
Salt Spring Island residents, feeling fortunate for all the help they received from utility crews and first responders following the Dec. 20 windstorm, hosted a potluck brunch on New Year’s Day to say thank you.
“The trees were down everywhere and we really would have been like Puerto Rico without extra help that was brought in from all across the country,” said Kathryn Anderson, one of the brunch organizers.
Outside of a boil water advisory and some still not having power, Anderson says life has, for the most part, returned to normal. The storms scars though are still very evident.
“We really wanted to pull the island together as it always does and thank people who really gave up their holidays with their families to come and help us,” said Anderson.
A silent auction at the brunch will help some of those that were hit particularly hard by the storm.
“Five of our skulls were basically smashed by a tree,” said Nigel Bisnar, a coach with the Salt Spring Island Rowing Club. “It’s a pretty tough loss because this is a third of our fleet.”
But the focus Tuesday was on saying thanks.
Most of BC Hydro’s crews have left Salt Spring Island, so organizers livestreamed the event so they would be able to watch.
A few local workers say this brunch adds to the love they’ve been receiving.
“It’s really great seeing all the support but the support that everyone showed all through everything.,” said Ian Fernandes, a BC Hydro worker.
“There was just so many people dropping off food and coffee and offering to help anytime they could it was really great to see.”
“It’s really much appreciated,” said Stefan Peters, a BC Hydro operations manager. “Makes you feel like part of the community.”
Peters says he’s exhausted after logging over 180 hours in the last 12 days.
When the hydro workers addressed those at the brunch, they thanked all who missed spending time with family.
“Over Christmas, a lot of people missed their holidays,” said Peters while tearing up. “That’s my family sitting right there.”
The workers received a standing ovation for a job well done.
A link to the Salt Spring Island Rowing Club GoFundMe is here.