Friends and family of the late Michael Lunn are establishing the Red Shirt Foundation, a non-profit society whose goal is to stop workplace violence.
Lunn, who loved red T-shirts, and fellow Western Forest Products employee Fred McEachern were killed at a shooting at the Nanaimo mill on April 30.
Lynn Jacques, longtime Lunn family friend and chairwoman of the newly formed foundation, said the idea was conceived when she and other family friends were discussing the tragedy. They decided to put the plan into action immediately.
She said a rudimentary website – redshirtfoundation.com – has been set up where people can make donations. Proceeds will go toward education and research for workplace violence awareness and prevention, giving purpose to the family’s pain.
“I think we will have national recognition,” Jacques said. “People in this country and around the world have had enough of violence. There’s so much violence and violence doesn’t solve anything. It’s so final and it doesn’t solve anything.”
Eventually, Jacques said she hopes to have educational material, which organizations can download and use for training. She said she heard from people saying they experience violence in the workplace but don’t know what to do about it.
“I think it will culminate in a national red shirt day on April 30, where people from around the world will stop and take notice and just say, ‘Yes, we need to stop this,’” said Jacques.
She said messages have been sent to the B.C. government and the foundation is seeking an endorsement. The foundation will be following up in the coming weeks.
Western Forest Products is providing legal counsel in order for the society to be incorporated, she said.
Separate memorial services were held for Lunn and McEachern in Nanaimo on Saturday.
Kevin Douglas Addison is in custody and faces two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder with a firearm in relation to the April 30 incident.
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