St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Nanaimo will be holding memorial events for those who have died due to drug overdose.
According to a press release, the Flags of Hope Overdose Awareness Display will be on the Chapel Street church’s fence daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The display will run until Aug. 29, with an overdose awareness event that day at Maffeo Sutton Park from 12-4 p.m. and a candle-light vigil following that from 7-10 p.m.
The display was created to show the impact of the overdose crisis by Judith Conway, from Courtenay, said the press release. Conway lost her son to an overdose in 2017 and wanted to find a way to bring more awareness to the crisis and with help from friends, and a coalition called Moms Stop The Harm, she built the display.
The idea is to show visually what’s happening, the press release said. That overdoses aren’t just statistics, that this is happening to many people, to get people to start talking and end the stigma, shame and silence around substance use. Everyone who has seen the display has been touched in some way because it truly is a labour of love, the press release said.
The public is invited to visit the display, leave photos of loved ones and tie a purple ribbon on the display to honour loved ones or people struggling to overcome addiction. It will also allow people who have suffered a loss to console one another, said the press release.
Organizers say the display has been to Comox, Vancouver and Victoria and they are honoured to set it up in Nanaimo.