Sturgeon County commemorates those lost in Nova Scotia tragedy

submitted by Sturgeon County

A special Nova Scotia Oaktree will now grow in Cardiff Park thanks to the thoughtfulness of a local resident who lost a sister, brother-in-law and niece earlier this year.

On April 18-19, 2020, 23 lives were tragically lost in Colchester County, Nova Scotia in a mass shooting. In honour of the lives lost, Colchester County sent Nova Scotia Oak trees to the families of Jolene Oliver, Aaron Tuck and Emily Tuck. On receiving the gift, Jolene Oliver’s family decided to donate a tree to Sturgeon County as a memorial for the family and to all the lives lost.

In conjunction with the donation, Sturgeon County Council approved a commemorative bench to be placed alongside the tree and, through an anonymous donation, a bronze plaque has been placed in remembrance. An official dedication took place in Cardiff Park on August 24, 2020.

“While the shootings occurred more than four thousand kilometres away, the tragedy has never been far from our hearts,” said Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. “Our community, like so many others, was deeply affected by what happened. This was an opportunity to stand in empathy and solidarity with the families and communities that lost loved ones and friends on those tragic days in April.”

“As a municipality, we also wanted to recognize the special relationship we have with Colchester County, especially through work we have done with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities,” said Mayor Hnatiw.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family members of Jolene Oliver, Aaron Tuck and Emily Tuck and thank them for proposing such an appropriate and loving way to remember all of the victims of this senseless tragedy,” said Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair in a statement. “Although it occurred in our community, the sorrow and grief has been shared across the nation.”

“We are grateful to Jolene’s family for donating this tree,” said Mayor Hnatiw. “As it grows, surrounded by friends and family, we will be reminded not only of those whom we have lost, but also about how community does not stop at municipal borders, but can stretch from the prairies to the Atlantic ocean.”

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