Courtney and Troy Dhillon welcomed son Beckett William Dhillon at 3:31 p.m. on Jan. 1—Port Alberni’s New Year’s baby—at West Coast General Hospital. Beckett weighed 7 lbs., 1 oz. and is the Dhillons’ first child. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Port Alberni welcomes 2019 New Year’s baby

Beckett Dhillon surprises his parents with early arrival

Port Alberni’s first baby of 2019 surprised first-time parents Courtney and Troy Dhillon with an early appearance on Jan. 1.

Beckett William Dhillon was born at 3:31 p.m. at West Coast General Hospital after 13 hours of labour for his mother. He wasn’t expected until Jan. 5; the Dhillons spent a quiet New Year’s Eve at home because Courtney was so close to her due date.

“I woke up at 2 a.m. with contractions and thought, no way,” Courtney said. Her labour and Beckett’s birth went fairly smoothly, she said.

“We are thrilled to have the New Year’s baby and want to hugely thank the maternity staff at West Coast General Hospital.”

Beckett is the first grandchild for both sides of the family.

Courtney is a teacher at Maquinna Elementary School and has been off since Dec. 7 to allow her replacement to get to know her students before the Christmas break.

The timing of Beckett’s arrival worked perfectly for Troy, who has been laid off from Catalyst Paper until Jan. 8. The mill was on a 10-day layoff over the holiday, he said.

Dhillon is also on a break with the Port Alberni Black Sheep rugby team, which won’t play its first game of 2019 until Jan. 12 in Comox.

Beckett “will be the newest member to the Black Sheep family,” Troy said.

Vancouver Island’s first baby of 2019 was a boy named Maverick born at 00:42 a.m. in Victoria General Hospital to a family from the Cowichan Valley.

On an average day, there are 16 babies born at Island Health sites.

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