Constable Graham Thomas Holmes, 30, who grew up in Shawnigan Lake, died in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, April 6.
Holmes was snowmobiling with a fellow officer and friend when the incident occurred. The pair were enjoying sunny, spring conditions on their ride to Bloody Falls Territorial Park, approximately 14 kilometres out of Kugluktuk. While returning to Kugluktuk, Holmes did not see a sudden drop off and plunged over an embankment to his death. The other rider narrowly missed the same fate.
Following his death, Holmes was brought home to B.C., April 11. His procession was welcomed home by RCMP members from the Westshore, Shawnigan Lake and North Cowichan/Duncan, along with other first responders, friends and family.
He leaves behind his fiancée Kelsey Foote to whom he proposed this past December on a beach in Tofino. The couple, who met in 2012, had just booked a June vacation to Mexico, the day Holmes died. Holmes was predeceased by his father. He also leaves behind his mother and brother, as well extended family, friends and members of the RCMP.
Holmes grew up in Shawnigan Lake. He entered Depot in Regina, Saskatchewan, on July 28, 2008 and graduated January 12, 2009. Holmes first posting was in Masset, B.C., before being posted to his home town of Shawnigan Lake. Holmes volunteered for the posting in Nunavut. There he discovered a passion for the Inuit people and the land of Nunavut. He embraced all that the area had to offer, spending his down time snowmobiling, quading and ice fishing. Residents of Kugluktuk, said, “his passing was a shock to the community”, “he was very approachable and friendly” and “he was a fine young man and a good officer”. Holmes loved the RCMP for the opportunities it afforded him to travel and experience other cultures.
Holmes’s sudden passing was a shock to his family and friends. They will cherish their memories of his sense of humour, generosity and adventurous spirit. His passing leaves an empty space for all who knew him. He will be deeply missed.
A service will take place Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m. at New Life Church in Duncan, followed by an informal gathering at the Duncan Community Lodge on Moose Road in Duncan, beginning at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a scholarship fund in Constable Graham Holmes’s name at Island Savings. Account # 2642940.
For more information contact: Terri Foote 1-250-746-3608