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

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

B.C. community gathers to remember sisters on one-year anniversary of their deaths

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

  • Dec. 27, 2018 2:30 p.m.

Approximately 200 people gathered at Willows Beach on Boxing Day to reflect on sisters Chloe and Aubrey Berry, who were found dead in their father’s Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day in 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 lights around the tree and it was really beautiful.”

Braithwaite was inspired to set up a memorial spot 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.

ONE YEAR LATER: Memorial set up for sisters killed last Christmas

“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,” Braithwaite said.

“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.

“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.”



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Aubrey and Chloe Berry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The regional district’s Penticton offices. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Building and bylaw service up in 2020 for RDOS

More complaints were resolved and building permits issued in 2020 than 2019

The next Canadian census will be held in May, 2021. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is urging its residents to complete the census form online. (Statistics Canada)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen urges participation in census

National census will be held in May, 2021 with COVID-19 protocols in place

Medical chief of staff Dr. Brad Raison of Penticton Regional Hospital and John Moorhouse of the Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation look over one of the rooms in the David E. Kampe Tower in 2017 while the tower was under construction. (Western News File)
After 46 years in media, Moorhouse retires

John Moorhouse spent the last six years with the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Most Read