The community of Fernie will come together this weekend to celebrate the lives of three men they lost far too early.
A public memorial goes 1:30 PM Sunday at Fernie Secondary School to honour Wayne Hornquist, 59, Lloyd Smith, 52, and Jason Podloski, 46.
They were killed last month due to an ammonia leak at the local arena.
Mayor Mary Giuliano admits it’s been an extremely difficult month for the entire community and hopes this event helps the families of the victims achieve some peace.
With support and condolences coming from across the world, the Mayor says hopefully loved ones will get a small level of comfort knowing how much people cared for these three individuals and what they meant to Fernie.
Giuliano says everyone grieves in their own ways but suggests this gathering may help residents and family members heal.
She says when you’re in a small town like Fernie, it’s important to express these emotions as a community and share with one another how beloved these men were.
Giuliano is urging everyone to come out and show their support.
The ceremony will be held around a bonfire in the school’s soccer field, but Giuliano points out there will also be seating and a live video feed set up in the school gymnasium for those who don’t want to stand outside.
The families invite the public to join them after the ceremony for a reception in Traynor Hall.
Giuliano adds, unfortunately, Fernie is no stranger to tragedy pointing all the way back to deadly wildfires in the early 1900s to disasters at local mines.
But she asserts the community is strong, resilient and will show everyone they will survive and move forward.
– Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano