Port Hardy’s giant Christmas tree has returned to the Thunderbird Mall parking lot.
“At the end of the 2019 holiday season, extreme winds knocked over our lovely community Christmas tree, taking a light standard along with it,” stated the Thunderbird Mall’s social media page on Nov. 30. “As you can imagine, the damage was severe and nearly everything was destroyed. Additionally, this incident could have posed a serious risk. It is for these reasons that the Thunderbird Mall originally opted to not have a community Christmas tree this year.”
But then 2020 happened, bringing a pandemic that effectively crushed morale and festive cheer.
“After talking to members of the community and the mall owners, we realized we needed a tree this year more than ever, and so we went ahead with our tradition,” the mall said. “We cannot begin to express our thanks to all the businesses that helped us make the repairs and get the tree set-up.”
The mall’s post added the process of putting up another Christmas tree was in fact quite daunting. “A tree had to be selected, which is no simple task when it is 35 feet tall as opposed to seven feet tall. Finally, after some time, the perfect tree was found and installed into the tree stand.”
Western Forest Products donated the tree and JM Welding repaired the stand and restored the beautiful star that sits on top of the light standard—in memory of Kim Barry.
K&K Electric donated the lines required to keep the tree in place and Alfred from Home Hardware moved the tree stand and cement blocks out to the parking lot. Kerry Walsh from Fox Disposal, Keith Porter from Hardy Builders, David Williams from BC Hydro and Mohammad Abdullah spent most of the day getting the tree secure in its stand. On Tuesday K&K Electric will be down here to “wrap the tree” in lights.
“An extra special thank you to Gerald Elliott who goes above and beyond every year!” the mall added in its post.