Charlie’s Tree


When the first war called, Charlie Perkins and 4 close friends left the serenity of Fraser Valley farmland. Charlie, a flight instructor with the Royal Flying Corps was the only survivor. On his return in 1919, he honored fallen comrades by planting ivy at the base of a massive Douglas Fir, a tree close to the swimming hole they frequented – a simple act of remembrance.

The following year fire ravaged the 210 foot behemoth Fir – the Perkins family managed to save some of the tree. Ivy unscathed and flourishing, Charlie’s tree rested quietly until 1960 heralded the Trans-Canada Highway. Horrified the tree he tended for 40 years was about to fall beneath asphalt, Perkins appeared before highways Minister Phil Gaglardi. Perkins efforts go down in Canadian history as the only time a major highway was diverted to protect a tree.

Traveling east on Highway 1 between 176 & 200th St. – the Trans-Canada takes a noticeable bend at Charlie’s memorial.

I’ve tried to find a photo of Charlie Perkins, so far no luck.

Veterans Transition Network


With Remembrance Day approaching, I wanted to post VTN again. Take a moment to ponder the sacrifice, and reality of our military.

notestoponder

When we least expect it clarity, compassion and understanding sneak up and slap us in the head. Moments like this are hard to define, lacking framework of anticipation or reference they vanish in the blink of an eye. We recognize it changed us but need to digest it for a day of two.

Yesterday was one of those days. I ran an event at the Foster Eastman Gallery in Vancouver, a fundraiser for Veterans Transition Network (VTN).  Having many military events under my belt, I arrived void of the slightest inkling this cocktail party would enrich my core. Expecting to see some familiar faces, looking forward to a new venue, interested in the art – I walked inside and was greeted by Foster.

I’ve never given much credence to auras but if Foster Eastman has one it radiates pure joy. Instantly at ease – dare I say under a spell…

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