Friday, May 7, 2004

Sad news on Bowen as Helen Holte passed away on May 1. The tributes have been coming in, acknowledging a piece of Bowen history that has passed into the books. Her family posted a modest little item in The Undercurrent today which reads:

The family of Helen Holte would like to thank her many friends and acquaintances for the concern and kind words expressed over the past few difficult weeks. We would especially like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Kit and Frank Dale.

When Helen left us on the morning of May 1 the folks at the hospital couldn't tell us exactly why. An email posted on a local Bowen Forum suggests a reason that is probably as good a diagnosis as any: When there were no more "Senators" sitting at her counter, I think she chose to join them and run the big Bowmart in the sky. I will sorely miss her, she was the last of the Titans, may all the gods bless her.

This comment, and many more like it phoned, printed, emailed or left in cards on the steps of the Bowmart, have reminded us just how many lives Helen has touched in some small but memorable way. This has been of great comfort to us.

Helen requested there be no service for her. Perhaps at some quiet time and in our own way we could all reflect for just a moment on the values and joy of a more simple and gentle era. Thank you all.

But just as one life passes, a new life joins in and in a typically Bowen Island way.

It seems last weekend that a most unusual birth took place. A woman went into labour and, for whatever reason (I hope it wasn't an emergency) a medevac helicopter was called in to transport her to Lion's Gate Hospital on the mainland. Apparently, the helicopter only got a few metres off the ground when it was clear that the baby wasn't going to wait, and as a result, the child was born on the playing field at the Bowen Island Community School. I expect that the regular Saturday soccer games had to be cancelled. Whether the child qualifies for a lifetime of free Parks and Rec programs is yet to be determined!

More details if and when I find out more of the story.

The eternal doesn't just happen normally around here.