Community members come out in droves to support front-line health care workers at parades

About 30 vehicles driven by Gore Bay area residents joined in a parade around the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home parking lot.

MANITOULIN – Residents in the communities of Gore Bay, Little Current and Wiikwemkoong came out in droves to recognize the efforts of front-line health care staff at nursing homes in the three communities, but to also recognize all those businesses and government services that have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, to serve local residents. A lights and sirens parade was held in the three communities last Friday.

“Awesome,” was the word one employee of the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home used to describe the scene and the thank-you bade on employees at the parade in Gore Bay, led by the Gore Bay Fire Department and residents in about 30 other vehicles around the parking lot at the Lodge, with lights and sirens blaring, and balloons and messages posted on their vehicles thanking Lodge staff for their efforts.

“Wasn’t that amazing,” stated Gloria Hall, activities co-ordinator at the Lodge. “It brought tears to my eyes. As well as townspeople there were people from out of town. It was incredible.”

The majority of the staff at the Lodge were able to see the parade, as did nursing home residents. Similar siren and lights parades were held at the Wikwemikong Nursing Home and at the Manitoulin Centennial Manor in Little Current, last Friday. 

Kelly ‘KT’ Timmermans had spearheaded the parade idea in the three communities, with an online message encouraging members of the communities to take part. “The main focus was anyone who is a front-line health care worker first,” she said, noting that the parade was also designed to recognize all those businesses and government services that have remained open in the communities.

Everyone was encouraged to take part, but to remain in their vehicles during the parade to follow the physical distancing protocols.

After the Lodge, the parade continued downtown to recognize all those businesses who have stayed open to serve the public during this pandemic.