Bitter-sweet tributes of honour and gratitude are hailed at health care facility amidst rising death toll

A lone cross adorns the front lawn of Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert on Jan. 30 to honour the memory, mark the loss and possibly fore-shadow the next moments at the long-term health care facility where a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Jan. 19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
A family pays tribute and honours a passed-away grandmother with drumming and singing outside Acropolis Manor the long-term health care facility and seniors home, on Jan. 30, in Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)A family pays tribute and honours a passed-away grandmother with drumming and singing outside Acropolis Manor the long-term health care facility and seniors home, on Jan. 30, in Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Michelle Boomars-MacNeill and Arianna MacNeill, on Jan. 30, show thanks to the staff at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert for working through the outbreak of COVID-19 at the long-term care facility. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)Michelle Boomars-MacNeill and Arianna MacNeill, on Jan. 30, show thanks to the staff at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert for working through the outbreak of COVID-19 at the long-term care facility. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Poster made to show thanks to staff and front line workers at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert on Jan. 29 (Photo: J. Rice)Poster made to show thanks to staff and front line workers at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert on Jan. 29 (Photo: J. Rice)
Gratitude was shown to front-line workers on Jan. 29 and 30 when posters were waived at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert. (Photo: J. Rice)Gratitude was shown to front-line workers on Jan. 29 and 30 when posters were waived at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert. (Photo: J. Rice)
A chalk rainbow promises support and gives thanks to front line workers at Prince Rupert’s long term care facility, Acropolis Manor on Jan. 30. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)A chalk rainbow promises support and gives thanks to front line workers at Prince Rupert’s long term care facility, Acropolis Manor on Jan. 30. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Port Edward Mayor Knut Bjorndal pays respect to the COVID-19 victims at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert on Jan. 30. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)Port Edward Mayor Knut Bjorndal pays respect to the COVID-19 victims at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert on Jan. 30. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice MLA for the North Coast displays thanks with others to the frontline staff at the Prince Rupert long term care facility on Jan. 30. Acropolis Manor had a COVID-19 outbreak declared on Jan. 19, so far affecting 14 staff and 24 residents, where four confirmed and one unconfirmed deaths have occurred. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Knut Bjorndal, mayor of Port Edward leaves flowers in memorium to lost victims of COVID-19 at Prince Rupert’s long term care facility and seniors home, Acropolis Manor, on Jan. 30. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)Knut Bjorndal, mayor of Port Edward leaves flowers in memorium to lost victims of COVID-19 at Prince Rupert’s long term care facility and seniors home, Acropolis Manor, on Jan. 30. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Participants of a two-evening event giving thanks to frontline health workers on Jan. 29 and 30, gather outside Acropolis Manor, a seniors home in Prince Rupert where a COVID-19 outbreak was declared killing four residents as of Jan. 29.Participants of a two-evening event giving thanks to frontline health workers on Jan. 29 and 30, gather outside Acropolis Manor, a seniors home in Prince Rupert where a COVID-19 outbreak was declared killing four residents as of Jan. 29.
Jennifer Rice MLA for the North Coast displays thanks with others to the frontline staff at the Prince Rupert long term care facility on Jan. 30. Acropolis Manor had a COVID-19 outbreak declared on Jan. 19, so far affecting 14 staff and 24 residents, where four confirmed and one unconfirmed deaths have occurred. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
A frontline health worker can be seen through the window acknowledging the support and thanks of the masked public gathered at a proper social distance outside Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert where the city’s first COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Jan. 19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)Jennifer Rice MLA for the North Coast displays thanks with others to the frontline staff at the Prince Rupert long term care facility on Jan. 30. Acropolis Manor had a COVID-19 outbreak declared on Jan. 19, so far affecting 14 staff and 24 residents, where four confirmed and one unconfirmed deaths have occurred. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View) A frontline health worker can be seen through the window acknowledging the support and thanks of the masked public gathered at a proper social distance outside Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert where the city’s first COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Jan. 19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Respect and honour to those who have died and tributes of thanks to staff at Acropolis Manor were given by numerous members of the Prince Rupert region on Jan. 30.

Acropolis Manor frontline staff were praised and thanked in an evening tribute outside the long term health care facility on Jan. 29 and 30, for their efforts to continue working through the recently announced COVID-19 outbreak at the home.

An accumulation of more than 25 people congregated at the 7 p.m. shift change at the front of the facility. Some were there for the second-night banging pots and pans in a gesture of support to the frontline workers, while others waited quietly to offer honour and respect to residents who have died. All were wearing masks and keeping at a socially safe distance.

“It’s been a rough few days for staff at Acropolis Manor and we wanted to say thank-you to them for showing up to work and caring for our loved ones,” Jennifer Rice MLA for the North Coast told The Northern View.

“We wanted … to show our support for the health care workers on the front line of COVID-19,” Rice said. “We wanted to spread the love.”

Diana Edis pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran and Rice organized the two-night gratitude event where participants sported poster boards with encouraging words of thanks, and the group drew chalk rainbows on the concrete deck outside the front doors of the facility.

The round of applause and shouts of praise for the senior’s home staff as they entered and exited the building was followed by an unrelated solemn show of respect for those who have passed at the home, with impromptu First Nations drumming and singing.

Rose Hewer and her nephew Bruce Yeomans who are both Haida, as well as other family members, attended Acropolis Manor at the same time as the frontline workers tribute, to drum and sing the passing of the spirits song in memorium of Yeoman’s grandmother.

Yeomans said he attended the home on Jan. 30 to pay honour and respect to his grandmother who passed away earlier in the afternoon on Saturday and had tested positive for COVID-19.

Yet to be confirmed by Northern Health, the death of Yeoman’s grandmother will bring the total number of fatalities due to COVID-19 in the care home to five residents.

Also honoring the deceased earlier in the day was Mayor Knut Bjorndal of Port Edward. He said it was a solemn occasion to be at the long-term care home and was paying his respects to those who had lost the battle at the senior’s residence.

The virus outbreak was declared on Jan. 19 and has since affected 14 staff and 24 residents, with four confirmed deaths at the home as of Jan. 29.

READ MORE: B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

READ MORE: Two more tragic deaths at Acropolis Manor seniors home


K-J Millar | Journalist
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