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Photos: Ganges Lights Up

While many of the events our community has come to enjoy over the holidays have been postponed, or cancelled outright, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, at least one trusted source of cheer has now reliably lit up Ganges. Holiday lights, installed by the CRD PARC team now grace Centennial Park, along with lights installed by many local community minded businesses. Those of us that are venturing outside in the evenings these days can enjoy the lights and a little reminder of the holiday spirit that we might all yet again enjoy this season. And you can always also enjoy the lights courtesy of our Ganges Fire Hall live cam as well.
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Obituary: Melvin Norman Topping

Melvin Norman Topping - September 3, 1943 - November 16, 2020 - It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of Mel a wonderful Husband, Father, Grandfather, And recently a Great Grandfather. Mel passed away peacefully with family by his side, after his battle with ALS. Mel was born in England and raised in Nanaimo BC. After Graduating from High School Mel drove an Ice Cream Delivery Truck up and down Vancouver Island and his love for ice cream never ended. After that he worked as a Butcher with Overwaitea Foods in Lake Cowichan. In 1967 Mel and Lorraine moved to Salt Spring Island where they bought Alex’s Meat Market. A few Years later he started his career in real estate and over the years owned his own real estate offices both on Salt Spring and on the Outer Gulf Islands. He developed many parcels of land on the island, and enjoyed that part of the business especially the interactions with his clients, and the many acquaintances in the accounting, banking, excavat…
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COVID-19: GISS Community Member Tests Positive - Contact Tracing Completed

In a letter posted for families with students at Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) late this afternoon, school administrators have confirmed that Island Health contact tracing and communication in regard to the confirmed case of COVID-19 reported yesterday of a GISS community member has been completed. "We are pleased to share that Island Health actions (contact tracing and communication) in response to the confirmed case of COVID-19 have been completed. Island Health has identified and notified all close-contacts and has provided them with specific guidance regarding a self-isolation period." "We wanted to share with everyone a common misconception in regard to viral transmission; that it is tied to a place, rather than to an individual. This exposure is not connected to the school itself, as our building and classrooms are regularly cleaned and disinfected. Our school continues to implement the strict protocols and procedures set by the Provincial Health Officer, Wor…
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COVID-19: GISS Community Member Tests Positive - Contact Tracing in Progress

Medical Health Officer Dee Hoyano from the Office of the North Island Medical Health Officer with Island Health, has issued a notice to the parents, guardians, families and staff of Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) on Salt Spring Island that a member of the school community has tested positive for COVID-19. The notice indicates that the date of the potential exposure for others at the school as November 26th, 2020. Island Health is completing contact tracing to identify any staff and students that need to self-isolate or self-monitor for symptoms. Note: The first version of this story incorrectly identified the confirmed case was a student, but that has not been confirmed. The confirmed case in this notice was identified simply as a 'member' of the school community.
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Greenwoods Eldercare Society Receives $16,100

The 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring Island held its sixth meeting on November 18th on Zoom. Members voted to give the collected donations of the meeting—which totalled about $16,100—to Greenwoods Eldercare Society. Also drawn from the charity basket during that meeting were the nominated charities were Gulf Islands Families Together Society (GIFTS) and the Salt Spring Island Branch of the BC SPCA. Three members gave informative and inspiring presentations over Zoom about why their nominated charity should receive the collected donations. Dorrie Ferster, who presented the winning pitch for Greenwoods, said, “It was a new experience to join the 100+ Women Who Care on a virtual call format. I must admit, I missed the energy of everyone’s presence.” Members cast a secret online vote for one of the three, and for the first time ever, there was a tie vote. Members were asked to cast their votes again, this time for the two tied charities. Greenwoods was the winning charity. …
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Last Chance to Save Mt. Erskine - Manzanita Ridge Connector Trail

We have a very short window of opportunity to save a well-loved trail on Salt Spring, and if we don’t act, now, it will soon be forever split in two. Walkers, hikers, runners, adults and kids all love Mount Erskine’s trails with their stunning views of beautiful forest. Accessible from Toynbee Road, Collins Road, and Trustees Trail, they all interconnect on public land. Or so we thought! We now know that the short connector between the Conservancy’s Manzanita Ridge Nature Reserve and Mt. Erskine Provincial Park is on private land, and there is no alternative for a safe trail. This land is part of a strata that will soon be developed. It’s quite possible that a future owner will build a house right on the existing trail, which most people now believe is public land. The Salt Spring Island Conservancy acquired Manzanita Ridge Nature Reserve from Martin Williams in 2003, and two years later it fundraised to buy the centrepiece of Mt. Erskine Provincial Park in partne…
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Obituary: Eli Rian Johnson

We are devastated to announce the birth and the death of our son Eli Rian Johnson. He was born at lady minto hospital on November 21st, 2020 at 10:38 am, weighing 8lb 4oz. He passed away in my womb and the cause is still unknown and may never be known. It is so heart wrenchingly painful. He was pure perfection, nothing has ever smelled so sweet. He had fine dark hair, kissable pouty lips, and a perfect button nose. He took after his daddy and was very tall. He was 22 inches long and had big Johnson feet... I cherish the time I had with him in my womb, he was so deeply loved. Everyday I talked to him and told him how loved he is. Every night at bed time Emmi would say goodnight Eli I love you. Our hearts are so deeply broken and our loss is unimaginable. We are together at home trying to navigate this grief while caring for our Emmi who is grieving the loss of her baby brother and trying to understand why everyone around her is so sad. I never want Eli to be forgott…
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An Opportunity to Help Protect the Forest on Lot F of the Larmour Lands

A dedicated group of islanders is working to ensure over 8 acres of mature coastal Douglas fir, Western redcedar, and Bigleaf maple forest remains standing. This healthy mixed forest is on the upland portion of Lot F of the Larmour Lands, and ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­its future is threatened. The community is invited to join us in this effort to prevent Lot F from being clearcut or developed. Through the generous support of many donors, the adjacent forest and wetlands of Lot H have recently been saved and will be preserved in perpetuity! Now the focus is on extending this and creating a larger protected area to increase and enhance the health and function of this important ecosystem. With conservation covenants already in place on nearby properties, the forest on Lot F is the missing puzzle piece. Connectivity is key to increasing biodiversity, and protecting Lot F’s forest will create 46 acres (about 18.5 hectares) of pristine natural habitat, now and forever.…
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