PORT McNEILL – Ray Bentley’s granddaughter, Kimberley, was on hand to unveil the plaque dedicating the Stream of Dreams student artwork at the fence at the B.C. ferries terminal Friday, Feb 25.
“He would have liked this,” said Kimberley, “He was right into saving fish.”
“He put back more salmon than he ever took out,” said family friend, Mitchel Nicholson.
“This was just meant to be,” said Jackie Hildering.
Hildering spoke to the students of Cheslakees Elementary about how much it would mean to Mr. Bentley if they would promise to continue his work caring for Salmon.
The student artwork, in the form of hand-painted plywood fish shapes arranged in a wavy pattern on the chain link fence bordering the parking area at the ferry terminal was the brainchild of Eleanor Ropponen, a teacher at Cheslakees Elementary. She took the Stream of Dreams idea made popular in many other communities one step further by dedicating the project to the local conservationist whose work garnered national attention when he won the Governor General’s Award for conservation.
Bentley’s passion was the Kokish Fish Hatchery that he started in 1986. He was well recognized within his community for his hard work on salmon enhancement.
“He deserved to be remembered with more than just a bench,” said Ropponen.
Bentley died Apr. 2, 2010.