Kira Marshall adds a name to the Hero Wall erected on a fence at the corner of Cliffe Avenue and First Street in Courtenay. Photo by Terry Farrell

Courtenay Hero Wall gives thanks to frontline workers

People wanting to thank frontline workers in the Comox Valley can add their names to a “Hero Wall” on Cliffe Avenue and First Street in Courtenay.

Kris Hopping came up with the idea – a way for anyone to show their gratitude to those who are risking their lives while providing essential services to the community.

“I just wanted to honour all the people who are working so hard,” said Hopping. “I have quite a few friends who are frontline workers and I know even though we have not yet had our first wave, they are already stressed; they can’t be with their families, they are sleeping in trailers. I have that fence that everybody passes so I just thought this would be a nice gesture.”

There is a spot on the wall to feature a new group of frontline workers every day. (On April 2, the heroes of the day were “City workers and trash collectors.”)

Every day, a different group of heroes is honoured in a special “feature inset.” Photo by Terry Farrell

“We change that every day,” said Hopping. “Yesterday was the grocery store people. I am going to put bus drivers on there… that was just a sort of last-minute add-on decision. It’s fun.”

There’s even an opportunity for anyone who wants to add a name to the board but can’t make it to the location.

“Absolutely,” said Hopping. “People can email me (… I’ve had a few names posted from people emailing me and messaging me because they are in isolation, or they are not in town. I’ve got names there from people in Canmore, Campbell River… I have also been putting on the wall what these people are doing, whether they are a paramedic, nurse, doctor, care aide, whatever (i.e. Myles Walters, paramedic; Nurse Paula Branchi). So if they give me that title, I can add that too. It’s not necessary. I just think it’s interesting.”

Be sure to bring your own Sharpie/felt pen to add your contribution, if you are heading down to the Hero Wall.

“The more names the merrier,” said Hopping. “If they get too full, I will just put another one up. I will just keep this going until such a time that we don’t need it anymore, which hopefully is not too long.”

Related: Video of nightly balcony salute to frontline workers

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