A community celebration of life was held for Shayne Vollmers and his partner Carrie Smith at Rathrevor Beach on March 26.
Vollmers, a teacher at Ballenas Secondary, and Smith, a registered massage therapist, lost their lives in a tragic car crash on Highway 40 between Lilloet and Gold Bridge on March 22.
Families, friends, students, fellow teachers and patients came out to honour both. Stories were shared as well as written in an album that will serve as mementos for their families.
There is currently a petition to rename the West Ballenas Island as Vollmers-Smith Island. To date, more than 1,200 people have signed the petition, started by former Ballenas teacher Jon Preston, who is doing this in memory of both Vollmers and Smith’s love of nature and commitment to preserve and promote the natural environment.
Vollmers and his Grade 9 students helped BC Parks Foundation raise funds to successfully purchase West Ballenas Island, located just east of Parksville in the Salish Seas.
“Changing the name from West Ballenas Island to Vollmers-Smith Island not only represents a recognition of their contribution to the preservation of nature both here and elsewhere but to the positive impact that they had had collectively on the lives of the students and patients whose lives they have touched as teacher and health care provide in the Central Island region,” Preston stated in his petition.
Anyone wishing to sign the petition can go to change.org