Coming up in Cowichan: Pioneer Fireside; Cycle of Life Tour

Stephen Mohan is riding in this year’s Cycle of Life Tour in appreciation for the care he and his mother received from local hospice societies. (submitted)

Mormon church presents Pioneer Fireside in Mill Bay site to celebrate Canada 150

If you see a bunch of people who look like pioneers, you’re at the right place for the Duncan Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Pioneer Fireside.

On Sunday, July 16 at 7 p.m. the Mormon church will host the Duncan LDS youth at the cemetery outside the little old church that overlooks the intersection of Hwy. 1 and Shawnigan Lake Mill Bay Road, which is soon to be made into a museum.

To celebrate Canada 150, the church is celebrating and bringing public awareness to the settlement of the first members of the Mormon church on Vancouver Island, the Copley Family who settled in Shawnigan Lake area in 1875. Several Copley family graves are at the old cemetery.

“We will be presenting a program that will honour the Copley family explaining how and why they settled here in the Cowichan Valley,” said spokesperson Carol Stiles.

In addition, a group of youth (ages 12 to 18) will be dressed in their pioneer costumes for which they will wear on their upcoming Pioneer Trek.

The trek is done every four years, and re-enacts the Mormon Pioneer trek that started in 1847. From July 19 to July 22 in the Port Alberni area, the group will be pulling handcarts along a 20 mile track to get a sense of that first journey.

Cycle of Life Tour rallies riders to raise funds for Vancouver Island’s hospice societies

On July 22 and 23, the fifth annual Cycle of Life Tour presented by Think Communications will take 80 riders across the Saanich Inlet, Cowichan Valley and Saltspring Island, in support of eight hospices on Vancouver Island, including the Cowichan Valley Hospice Society.

Many Cycle of Life Tour riders return year after year for the nearly 200 kilometre ride to raise funds and awareness for quality palliative care across Vancouver Island.

This year, amongst those new to the ride, is cyclist Stephen Mohan. Mohan sought grief counselling from the Cowichan Valley Hospice Society following the death of his 15-year-old son.

“Grief can be quite the emotional rollercoaster,” he said. “Last year I fell apart in a bad way. I was directed to the hospice and have benefitted so much from their support.”

Mohan’s mother also received end-of-life care at Oceanside Hospice, in Qualicum Beach last winter.

“Hospices are safe havens, staffed by folks who care and want to help,” he said.

Hospice services across the Island rely heavily on community donations. Events like the Cycle of Life Tour enable them to continue providing care and comfort for dying patients and their families.

Mohan wanted to give back and show his appreciation for the care both he and his mother received, so he signed up for the Cycle of Life Tour.

“I’ve found cycling and exercise to be positive outlets for confronting my symptoms of grief. I ride my bike… a lot. With bicycles being involved so much in my journey to wellness, it seemed like a natural fit to be a part of the 2017 Cycle of Life Tour.”

Since 2011, the Cycle of Life Tour has raised over $360,000 for end-of-life care. Vancouver Island hospices rely heavily on community donations and events like the Cycle of Life Tour to continue providing care and comfort for dying patients and their loved ones. To learn more about riders like Mohan and the hospices supported by this event, visit:

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