The temporary memorial for Chloe and Aubrey Berry, Dec. 26 2018. (Submitted by Hazel Braithwaite)

B.C. community gathers to remember sisters on one-year anniversary of their deaths

Residents gathered to sing This Little Light of Mine in memory of Oak Bay sisters

  • Dec. 27, 2018 2:30 p.m.

Approximately 200 people gathered at Willows Beach on Boxing Day to reflect on sisters Chloe and Aubrey Berry, who were found dead in their father’s Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day in 2017.

Most were there to take part in a commemorative sing-along of This Little Light of Mine, which was led by Chloe’s music teacher from Christ Church Cathedral.

“Everybody in the crowd was holding lights of some sort, and there were lots of children there which was really lovely,” Oak Bay Coun. Hazel Braithwaite said.

“Sarah was actually there, the mom, and she went up at the end of the song and placed some lights at the tree, then other people just followed and started lights around the tree and it was really beautiful.”

Braithwaite was inspired to set up a memorial spot around a tree near the Willows Beach playground after seeing residents discussing ways to reflect on the tragedy in a local Facebook group. A friend of Sarah Cotton, Chloe and Aubrey’s mother, suggested singing This Little Light of Mine on Christmas, an idea Cotton loved.

READ MORE: Mom of slain Oak Bay sisters calls for positivity on anniversary of their deaths

At the time, Cotton said she “would much rather focus on the girls’ brightness and light rather than the negativity of it all this Christmas.” She hoped singing the song would add a little positivity to everyone’s Christmas.

“Everyone wanted to give to Sarah, and Sarah was very giving of herself and saying ‘hello’ to people and hugging, which I think really meant a lot to everyone as well. And probably really meant a lot to her to be able to see the people who had come out to honour the girls,” Braithwaite said.

“It’s really heartwarming I think that people will remember and take the time to come out and honour the lives of the girls in that way.”

The memorial at Willows Beach will remain in place until Dec. 30. Afterward, all the notes and mementos will be gathered up and given to Cotton.

Going forward, Braithwaite hopes this will always be a time where residents will want to join together.

ONE YEAR LATER: Memorial set up for sisters killed last Christmas

“I’m always struck by the strength of Sarah. She is a pretty amazing human being to have gone through something like what she has gone through, and yet to be so kind and generous to everyone around her who needs to have that moment with her,” Braithwaite said.

“For her to be able to be there and let people hug her and give them a kind word, and listen to what they have to say — that takes a pretty amazing kind of person.

“You often think if you put yourself in the same situation could you be as stoic and as kind and generous as she is? I’m not sure if I could.”



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News earns four national awards

The Westerly was announced as the recipient of four Canadian Community Newspaper Awards last week.

Culture provides authentic means to education for Ahousaht and Klemtu students

Tying lessons into a real-world scenario creates a more significant and community-based classroom

Tofino police believe alcohol was a factor in Thursday night car crash

The crash knocked out power to the community from 6:44-10:01 p.m

Ucluelet Secondary School Class of 2019 embark on a new chapter

School will host graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 15 at 2 p.m.

Tofino celebrates new $200K playground

“It’s all designed around risky play and having fun.”

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read