Friends and family of a young woman who died late last year are devastated after a memorial bench in her honour was stolen from a walking path in Penticton recently. (Submitted)

Memorial bench for young South Okanagan woman who died was stolen

Someone stole the stone bench that was placed at a walking bridge across the creek

A group of friends are devastated over the theft of a bench in Penticton that was custom built in memory of their friend.

“A friend of mine passed away in Penticton near that area and that is where we bring flowers and remember her. We had it custom made and shipped from somewhere in the U.S. and there is even a special poem engraved on it. When I found out someone had stolen it, I honestly cried my eyes out. It is the saddest thing ever. Everyone is broken hearted,” said Al Gibert.

He said the stone bench was placed at a walking bridge across the creek on Government Street near White Avenue that crosses the creek. Gibert said his friend was originally from St. Alberta and friends and family would visit the bench and drop off fresh flowers often. He said the bench was placed on Oct. 17, 2018.

“Her family and friends, as soon as they landed from Alberta would go straight to that very spot and drop flowers off on the bench. A girl that I know was going to drop flowers off there on Saturday (April 20) and it was gone. The city said they didn’t move it, and they said they would notify us if it became an issue or an eyesore. I just don’t know who would do this,” he said.

READ MORE: Shuswap woman asks that people stop swiping daffodils from memorial bed

The young woman’s mother had these words to a poem engraved on the seat of the bench: If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane. I would walk right up to Heaven and bring you back again.

“We just want it back. They can contact me, they can call the RCMP but the best thing in the world would be they just put it back in its place and there will be no consequences at all. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, I just want the bench back,” said Gibert.

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