Most car shows are off this summer in Langley due to an ongoing pandemic threatening the lives of vulnerable populations in B.C.
But an exception was made for Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH) staff, who are painstakingly battling a COVID-19 contagion of never-before-seen proportions in their community.
For them, Langley resident Martin Brown asked friends from the BC Hot Rod Association club to drive on by and put on a show like none other.
“I have a huge appreciation for people out there everyday, working hard, when there is a growing movement that says all of this is just nonsense,” Brown said.
“The idea was mine and I invited members because the club is a very very good and important thing in my life.”
Brown made mention of close family members who are at work in the healthcare sector.
“This is very real.”
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A few dozen hot rods honked their horns, flashing “thank you” signs by the main entrance of the hospital Thursday night – the same time the surrounding community cheered for front line workers, 7 p.m.
The car hobbyists, most who had not seen one another in person since the pandemic began, dubbed the event “Sirens-of-seven at Seven.”
Brown was one of them, the man responsible for the slow roll of 1950-70’s cars and modern hot rods ‘round the hospital drop-off area.
He drove a 1971 GMC restored “shop truck that still wears its faded clothes,” he said, mentioning its rusted exterior.
At the LMH front entrance, several health care workers stood in wait of the special tribute.
One, a nurse just ending her shift, told Langley Advance Times that when car parades like this have happened, it isn’t just the nurses or care aids that benefit.
“For one of my elderly patients. When this happened last month he was reminiscing for days about the old times. It brought back so many happy memories for him.”
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Before the show, the cars lined up at 6 p.m. in view of two Langley Memorial long-term care homes, Cedar Hill and Maple Hill, along 221A Street.
Senior residents were seen posted up near their windows in wait of the car parade.
Club members and friends were careful to stay in their cars during the gesture of support.
“Once we were on our way we made sure everyone knew not to leave their vehicles to say ‘hello’ or give a hug to someone,” Brown said.
Having had his own work put on hold as a result of the pandemic, the organizer have recently found himself frequently haunting the aisles of his local auto parts shop.
“Let’s just say I’m on a first name basis when I walk into the store,” he remarked.
“But I’m so sick of working on cars,” Brown admitted, mentioning the hot rod association’s monthly meets have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
“It was just so good to see people I’ve missed socializing with a lot,” he said about the parade.