Family members honour the memory of six-year-old Dontay-Patrick Lucas on Friday, April 6 by lighting sky lanterns during a public vigil at Victoria Quay. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

‘This is medicine to our family’

Lucas family thanks Port Alberni for support, vigil after six-year-old boy’s death

A crowd of 150 people gathered on the lawn at Victoria Quay as twilight neared on Friday, April 6, to honour the memory of Dontay-Patrick Lucas, who was six years old when he died March 13 in Port Alberni.

Candles were lit, a musician played softly on a guitar, and the families and individuals—many of them members of Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations—stood or sat quietly, reflecting.

“This is medicine to our family,” said Brian Lucas, one of Dontay’s uncles. “My little nephew touched a lot of people…we have a lot of gratitude for everybody here. We’re all sharing the same love for my little nephew.”

The family lit three sky lanterns, releasing two of them to float high over the Somass Estuary until they disappeared from view.

READ: Young Nuu-chah-nulth boy remembered by his big, beautiful smile

READ: Port Alberni Six-year-old boy’s death being treated as suspicious

READ: Vigil planned in honour of six-year-old boy who died in Port Alberni

Kortney Brookes planned the vigil with the family’s support as a way for members of the public to honour the boy’s memory.

“I think we all need to come to some kind of closure,” she said as the event was winding down on Friday. “We can’t come to terms with (his death) but we can come to closure. He won’t be forgotten.”

Family members were grateful for the outpouring of community support.

“I think this is going to be uplifting for my wife and family. Help us move on,” said Lory Campbell, Dontay’s grandfather.

“Thank you so much for planning this for my late son,” Dontay’s father, Paul Lucas, wrote on Facebook. “Thank you the community of the valley for the love and support you all showed for my son.

“Means a lot and warms my heart. Much respect.”

Kaleb Pynn spent some time lighting votives lined up along the railing of the boardwalk at Victoria Quay. The young man was sombre as he reflected on the vigil, which wound down as the light disappeared.

“I thought this was a good night,” said Pynn, who didn’t know Dontay personally. “I felt sorry for him because he died at a young age. I feel sad whenever someone dies at a young age.”

Port Alberni RCMP are still investigating the boy’s death.


Family, friends and supporters at the public vigil wore stickers on their sleeves remembering Dontay’s life. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Just Posted

Alberni Valley firefighters head to Fort St. James to assist with B.C. wildfires

‘We need to make sure first and foremost our community is protected’: Gilday

City of Port Alberni agrees to three-year extension of track surface

Bob Dailey Stadium track has experienced ‘degradation and tears’ since resurfacing in 2013

Could Thunder in the Valley roar at Alberni’s airport once more?

City of Port Alberni offered Stamp Avenue as a temporary solution

John Douglas looks forward to a “healthier” Port Alberni

Douglas has resigned from his position at the Port Alberni Shelter Society to run for mayor

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read