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.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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