Chris Straw, pictured with his grandson Luca, left, and Marc Doré have been identified as the men who died in a construction accident on Gabriola Island on Tuesday. (Photos courtesy R. Jeanette Martin)

Chris Straw, pictured with his grandson Luca, left, and Marc Doré have been identified as the men who died in a construction accident on Gabriola Island on Tuesday. (Photos courtesy R. Jeanette Martin)

Gabriola Island residents come to terms with work-site deaths of well-known community members

Chris Straw and Marc Doré identified as men killed when concrete pump boom failed Tuesday

Gabriola Island is reeling from the loss of two men known for their service to the community.

Chris Straw and Marc Doré have been identified as the men who died Tuesday when the boom of a concrete pump truck broke while pouring the foundation for a home.

Both men died at the scene despite the efforts of the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department and B.C. Ambulance Service to save the men’s lives.

READ ALSO: Two workers killed in work-site incident on Gabriola Island

Carol Fergusson, Gabriola Arts Council executive director, said she knew Doré as a gentle man, well-respected in the community and as a builder of fine homes on the island.

“He and his wife Huguette were very well-respected builders. They made beautiful, beautiful homes,” Fergusson said.

Fergusson said Doré had a quick wit and a great laugh.

Chris Straw, Fergusson said, was heavily involved with the arts council and took part in the renovation and construction of the arts council’s buildings.

“His pickup truck was used a lot to do things for the arts council … he’s also the best emcee the island’s ever seen. He was just great with a crowd – a very dry sense of humour and a quick wit,” Fergusson said. “He was a teaser. He liked to tease everyone. I was looking forward to getting to know him better to find out what the teasing really meant.”

Straw, she said, was a dedicated husband and a wonderful father who was “especially smitten” with his grandson Luca, whom Straw and his wife Margy Gilmour were home-schooling during the pandemic while the boy’s parents worked.

Both men and their families are well-known in the community of about 4,500 through their volunteer work.

“They knew so many people because they had been here for quite some time and they just were involved in so many different aspects of the community,” Fergusson said. “Chris didn’t just volunteer for the Gabriola Arts Council, he volunteered all over the place and would be the first one to help anyone and the same with Marc, so the ripple effect throughout the community has been absolutely astounding.”

Straw and Doré were retired CBC employees.

Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA and Gabriola Island resident, worked with Straw on the freighter anchorages issue.

“He’s really part of my island family, particularly on the anchorages issue, and we did a lot of work together when I was MP,” Malcolmson said. “We got him out to Ottawa to testify to the transportation committee. We did a lot of stuff together for a lot of years and it continued and I thought it would carry on a whole lot longer. It’s a real shock.”

Malcolmson said Doré and his wife loved their home-building work, which was much different from their careers prior to retiring to the island.

“They were going to build the dream home for Chris Straw and Margy Gilmour,” she said.

Straw was a full-time artist, but Malcolmson knew him as a man who crafted a constructive voice from the anger and frustration felt by Gulf Islands residents over the freighter anchorage issue.

“Chris Straw was extremely skillful at being able to bring all those voices together, channel them into a government process that was solution-oriented, was something that moved the issue forward and knit together people in communities that had never worked together before … he brought forward a lot of diplomacy and strategic thinking that really made a difference,” Malcolmson said.

She said Straw emceed both happy and sad occasions on Gabriola Island.

“Often when there’d be a loss in the community, Chris would be the one who be the master of ceremonies or be the one who gave the eulogy … he was just the kind of guy who stepped up in times of need,” Malcolmson said. “We are going to have to do that without him this time.”

Faron Parlee, manager for Bedrock Redi-Mix, the company delivering and pouring the concrete on the site Tuesday, expressed the company’s sentiments in an e-mailed statement Thursday.

“We are in shock and are extremely concerned about the impact to these individuals’ families and friends,” the statement noted. “Bedrock Redi-Mix is fully co-operating with the site management and all provincial safety authorities.”

An investigation into the incident by WorkSafe B.C. and the B.C. Coroners Service is continuing.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Gabriola Islandworksite deaths

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

Just Posted

Hallway design for the new Health Sciences Centre on the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College. (Contributed)
Okanagan College fundraiser counters pandemic

Health Sciences Centre campaign has raised $2 million in midst of COVID economic slowdown

The original retaining walls were made out of metal stakes and boulders. (Urban Options)
Peachland council denies permit for already-built retaining wall

Wall was built before moving through development permit application process

The administrative headquarters for Central Okanagan Public Schools in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at 6 Central Okanagan Schools

The infected individuals are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams

(Black Press Media File Photo)
No criminal intent in the case of man who approached two children: Kelowna RCMP

“Investigators have determined there was no criminal intent on his part and that he regrets causing the children, their families and the community concern.”

(Natalia Cuevas-Huaico - Kelowna Capital News)
Morning Start: Foot bones don’t harden until you’re an adult

Your morning start for Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Salmon Arm Homes for Rent/Sale Etc. is a popular Facebook page used by those with places for rent and people in need of them. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Carpenter building homes in Salmon Arm unable to find place to rent

Property manager says it’s easier to find work in Salmon Arm than a place to live

The old Shielings Motel is being demolished for an eventual roundabout to reduce congestion between Skaha Lake Road and South Main Street. The city is also hoping to have affordable seniors housing there too. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western News)
Affordable seniors housing coming to Shielings Motel site in Penticton

The city hopes to turn a portion of the site into affordable housing

The Victory Church shelter has been a source of contention between city council and the provincial government minister of housing David Eby. (Jesse Day)
Penticton council calls on Union of B.C. Municipalities to support them in fight against province

Mayor John Vassilaki sent a letter asking for UBCM’s support over the Victory Church shelter

Dr. Bonnie Henry 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. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

Most Read