The temporary memorial for Chloe and Aubrey Berry, Dec. 26 2018. (Submitted by Hazel Braithwaite)

WATCH: Residents honour Chloe and Aubrey Berry

Residents gathered to sing This Little Light of Mine in memory of Oak Bay sisters

Approximately 200 people gathered at Willows Beach Dec. 26 to reflect on Chloe and Aubrey Berry.

The Oak Bay sisters were discovered dead in their father’s apartment Christmas Day 2017.

Most were there to take part in a commemorative sing-along of This Little Light of Mine, which was led by Chloe’s music teacher from Christ Church Cathedral.

“Everybody in the crowd was holding lights of some sort, and there were lots of children there which was really lovely,” Oak Bay Coun. Hazel Braithwaite said. “Sarah was actually there, the mom, and she went up at the end of the song and placed some lights at the tree, then other people just followed and started [placing] lights around the tree and it was really beautiful.”

Braithwaite was inspired to set up a memorial around a tree near the Willows Beach playground after seeing residents discussing ways to reflect on the tragedy in a local Facebook group.

A friend of Sarah Cotton, Chloe and Aubrey’s mother, suggested singing This Little Light of Mine on Christmas, an idea Cotton loved.

READ MORE: Mom of slain Oak Bay sisters calls for positivity on anniversary of their deaths

At the time, Cotton said she “would much rather focus on the girls’ brightness and light rather than the negativity of it all this Christmas.” She hoped singing the song would add a little positivity to everyone’s Christmas.

“Everyone wanted to give to Sarah, and Sarah was very giving of herself and saying ‘hello’ to people and hugging, which I think really meant a lot to everyone as well. And probably really meant a lot to her to be able to see the people who had come out to honour the girls,” Braithwaite said.

“It’s really heartwarming I think that people will remember and take the time to come out and honour the lives of the girls in that way.”

The memorial at Willows Beach will remain in place until Dec. 30. Afterward, all the notes and mementos will be gathered up and given to Cotton.

Going forward, Braithwaite hopes this will always be a time where residents will want to join together.

“I’m always struck by the strength of Sarah. She is a pretty amazing human being to have gone through something like what she has gone through, and yet to be so kind and generous to everyone around her who needs to have that moment with her. For her to be able to be there and let people hug her and give them a kind word, and listen to what they have to say — that takes a pretty amazing kind of person,” Braithwaite said. “You often think if you put yourself in the same situation could you be as stoic and as kind and generous as she is? I’m not sure if I could.”

READ MORE: Trial of Oak Bay father charged in deaths of daughters to be held in Vancouver



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UVic student killed in bus crash remembered as passionate, kind

Emma Machado, 18, killed in bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

UPDATE: One man dies in Saanich collision

Police are asking people to avoid the intersection at Cumberland and Union roads

Oak Bay approves subdivision for lot that houses Maclure-designed heritage home

Mansion-style Blair Gowie house famous for its design and historical connection with Butchart family

MLA Andrew Weaver thins workload after illness, full recovery expected

BC Green Party leader felt symptoms at a public event in Langley, and was taken to hospital

Golfer aims for hole-in-one to raise cash for Victoria Hospice

Fundraiser event hits Highland Pacific Golf Course Sept. 17

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million Lotto 6/49 prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

Island campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Most Read