Finish Line Transport truck with Cliff and Gina Fairbairn in one of the Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Considerations made to keep Island community’s drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

Drive-by birthday celebrations for young children and older adults hitting landmark birthdays have become a prominent and uplifting experience for so many in Crofton since daily lives were changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But not all were on board with the concept and a noise complaint to the Municipality of North Cowichan prompted a visit from a bylaw officer on Monday that put the celebrations in jeopardy. But some of the main organizers reached a compromise to keep them going.

One of the contentious issues was the loud train horn on Cliff and Gina Fairbairn’s Finish Line Transport rig.

“We’re going to go ahead with it,” said Gina. “We’ll just avoid the horn. You may see some extra little things. I’ve encouraged more trucks to come in.”

The possible end of the celebrations created a furor in the community. The large majority of residents were in favour of keeping the mini parades intact, considering the duration of the noise – usually only within a five-minute period.

But to keep the peace and go on with the festivities, the Fairbairns. along with Mike and Joan Colwell and others, were willing to do just about anything.

“We decided we would finish the birthdays out till the end of June,” noted Gina. “Some of the kids are like three and four. They want the trucks.

“We’ve had a few negatives. We’ve avoided them and here we go. Some of the messages, kids are so excited. We’re not going to let them down. We’ll still do it. We’ll avoid the horns and maybe we’ll do something else. Let the cars honk all they want.”

There appears to be a sudden resurgence in the short parades after the complaint to bylaw enforcement came to light and many more vehicles seem poised to join the processions in the days ahead.

It’s a busy stretch of birthdays coming up from June 5-19. Gina said there’s a 60th birthday Friday, two birthdays Sunday, one Monday and one next Thursday.

The Fairbairns have gone out of their way to make birthdays special throughout the pandemic, especially for the younger kids. They’ve donated birthday T-shirts for the kids while the families of the adults pay for their own.

The Colwells of Cowichan Valley Ag Hauling Inc. are also accepting of changes to maintain the new tradition, rather than shutting down. They had initially thought of pulling out due to the risk of a fine if a second complaint was lodged.

Related: COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

“Let’s get these kids done,” stressed Joan. “We have the same kids that come out every night. It’s just really fun to watch. We’ll get it done. We can’t use our horns.”

She had a call in to the bylaw officer Tuesday to ask questions to ensure compliance with those who expressed concerns.

“That’s what this is about. It’s not about being right or any of that. We have to work for all of us, not just some of us.”

The Colwells’ involvement stems from wanting to put smiles on peoples’ faces.

“It’s just a hard time for everyone,” said Joan.

But the celebrations have mostly brought the community together and she’s pleased about that.

“The last thing we want to do is tear Crofton apart. Crofton is an amazing place to live.

“The kids are so fun. They stand on the side of the road and the kids are jumping up and down. It’s nice to know our town is still thriving.

“So let’s just get it done. If we have to be a little quieter, let’s be a little quieter.”

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring weighed in on the situation Monday. No tickets were issued and nothing was shut down, he indicated.

Related: North Cowichan Mayor assesses drive-by celebration situation in Crofton

“People are simply being asked, to echo Dr. Bonnie Henry’s words, to ‘be kind’ in recognition that some folks aren’t all-in on the excessive noise.”

CommunityCoronavirus

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

 

Birthday cavalcade winds it way down the street in Crofton. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Kathie Nimmo enjoyed the acknowledgement of her 80th birthday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Cowichan Valley Ag Hauling Inc.’s truck is a fixture in the Crofton drive-by birthdays. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

City building cycle lane on Departure Bay Road, walking lane on Boxwood

Nanaimo council approves three active transportation projects totalling $170,000

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspects behind suspicious Bastion fire

Two people seen in the area where the fire broke out Monday

Mural artists announced for Nanaimo’s inaugural Hub City Walls festival

Local artists Kara Dee Harrison, Russell Morland and Austin Weflen to paint downtown walls

Lights shine on Nanaimo’s Serauxmen Stadium

$1.1-million lighting project will extend baseball season, says City of Nanaimo

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

Most Read