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

Kira Stowell rode her way to first place in the senior pole bending event at the combined High School Rodeo in Quesnel in the only event of 2020. All regional high school events have been cancelled, although there are still hopes for provincials. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
High school rodeo events cancelled

Rodeos were planned for Williams Lake and Quesnel in early May

Responding to the layoffs announced at Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake this week, B.C.’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Bruce Ralston said the ministry is working diligently to see the situation resolved as quickly as possible. (Taseko Mines photo)
Gibraltar Mine permit change consultation period extended to May 7, 2021: energy and mines minister

“We are working dilgently to see this resolved as quickly as possible,” minister said

Quesnel city council approved a pride crosswalk, similar to the one installed in Williams Lake in 2018. Williams Lake Pride supporters Denise Deschene, Charlotte Mortimer, Charlie Konopke (standing) and Pride interm president Chasity-Blu Wright were on hand to see it painted. (File Photo)
COUNCIL BRIEFS: A packed meeting

Quesnel city council was kept busy on April 20

Dawson Road Maintenance crews have been working on road base failures on Highway 20. (Dawson Road Maintenance Facebook photo)
ROAD REPORT: Dawson Road Maintenance provides update on Cariboo Chilcotin road conditions

Road bases still soft, saturated at multiple locations in Cariboo Chilcotin due to spring freshet

A Quesnel Volunteer Firefighter gets a hose on flames shooting from a house trailer completely engulfed in flames. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
WATCH: Fire crews respond to fire in North Quesnel

Emergency crews are on scene near Lear Road for what appears to be a residential fire

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read