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

A horse and driver cruise around the track at Fraser Downs in Cloverdale Sept. 14, 2020 amid smoke from U.S. forest fires. Harness Racing B.C. announced it’s halting the spring season two weeks early because of a lack of money and says racing won’t continue in September without and influx of cash. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Harness racing suspended at Fraser Downs

Spring season ends early, 135 workers out of jobs

An agreement between the City and the Langley Lions Housing Society would set out income and age requirements for the new Birch replacement building (Langley City image)
Langley Lions housing project gets go-ahead from City council

An eight-storey structure will replace the fire-gutted original Birch building

B.C.’s Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
‘Stereotypes’ not an issue in Langley sex assault ruling, Court of Appeal says

The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction in two attacks on a 17-year-old

The Langley School District issues COVID-19 notifications when cases are discovered at local public school. Fraser Health handles contact tracing and all medical aspects for all local schools. (Langley Schools)
Two Langley schools added to COVID list

Fraser Health posts the names of public and private schools online when there’s been exposure

Florence Song (left), Amy Saya, and Chanhee Park participated in sustainability week at TWU by selling clothes to benefit charities. (TWU’s Winnie Lui/Special to Langley Advance Times)
TWU students turning used clothes and goods into cash

During sustainability week the university fundraises to benefit young entrepreneurs and charities

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $82M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Archibald bowl near Chilliwack. (Submitted)
Cheam First Nation ‘shocked’ over all-season mountain resort proposal near Chilliwack

For five years the band has been working on a gondola project of their own

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A almost hitting school bus

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Most Read