Tour de Rock community party a hairy affair in Port Alberni

Some well-known moustaches disappeared on Sunday (Sept. 18), and interesting hairlines reappeared as community members faced the razor for Port Alberni RCMP Tour de Rock rider Const. Tom Gill.

Brett Wasylyniuk receives a helping hand as he shaves a strip off Port Alberni RCMP Const. Tom Gill's head during a Tour de Rock fundraiser at Harbour Quay on Sunday

Brett Wasylyniuk receives a helping hand as he shaves a strip off Port Alberni RCMP Const. Tom Gill's head during a Tour de Rock fundraiser at Harbour Quay on Sunday

Brett Wasylyniuk may only be a youngster, but irony was not lost on the diminutive Tour de Rock junior rider this weekend.

Wasylyniuk, his face adorned with thick eyebrows and a goatee of facepaint, took a few swipes of the clippers as Port Alberni RCMP Const. Tom Gill had his head shaved. When the deed was finally done, Wasylyniuk rubbed his own bald head and grinned at Gill as if to say, “just like me.”

Wasylyniuk is Gill’s junior rider for the Tour de Rock, a 1,000-kilometre bike ride that begins Sept. 24 in Port Hardy and ends two weeks later in Victoria. The little boy from Port Alberni is undergoing chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer; he will be Gill’s inspiration on the ride.

The community event held at Harbour Quay drew a crowd as several other well-known people either shaved their moustaches or their heads–and in two cases, both–to raise money for Gill’s ride. The donations will ultimately go towards pediatric cancer research.

Port Alberni fire Chief Tim Pley, who has cultivated his moustache since 1987, is now cleanshaven after answering Gill’s challenge. So is RCMP Cpl. Denis Sauve, who willingly shaved his moustache.

Gill’s was the first to go, before he returned to the makeshift hairstylist’s chair to shave his head. He also had his legs waxed.

Warrenn Sawyer raised more than $1,200 to see his long blond hair, moustache and goatee go. His children, Jenna and Darrenn, niece Sara and nephew Noah and others each took a swipe at the various ponytails on Sawyer’s head. His hair will be donated to make wigs for cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

Other community members also stepped up to shave their heads, including Parker Van Dyk, who raised more than $500.