The students produced personalized cards for Dot Bonora’s 99th birthday. Photo, Comox Valley Schools/Mary Lee

The students produced personalized cards for Dot Bonora’s 99th birthday. Photo, Comox Valley Schools/Mary Lee

Students serenade Dot for her 99th birthday

Port McNeill woman asks Island community where her mom lives for some help

When a Port McNeill woman put out a call on social media to help her mother in the Comox Valley celebrate her 99th birthday, she was overwhelmed by the response.

These days, Roberta Bonora Day has to visit from outside through a window, when she can visit, because of COVID-restrictions. Her mother can have one designated person to come in for visiting once a week, and as Bonora Day’s brother lives in the Comox Valley, it makes sense for him to be the official visitor.

Unable to attend for a regular in-person visit on the Jan. 15 birthday, she hoped the community could help. so she put out the word on social media.

“I was wondering … how I could make her birthday a little special because she can’t have her whole family come in with a cake,” she said. “It just took right off.”

She expected a few responses. She says Cumberland Lodge where mom Dot lives has received at least 220 cards in the mail to send birthday greetings. She had heard about the numbers from her niece who works at the lodge but she was able to visit the site a couple of days later and see the volume herself.

Then there were the students from Cumberland Community School. They sent more greetings, and they went even further as a large group of them trekked over to the lodge to sing “Happy Birthday” to Dot.

After seeing the Facebook post, CCS principal Tracey Croonen said she contacted Bonora Day to tell her she could arrange for students to make cards for the birthday, while staff helped out and senior students made a banner.

“With organization from our leadership teacher, Jina Taylor, our senior classes went across the street to the lodge on their lunch hour with the banner and cards to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ through an open window,” she told the Record. “Our school has a strong connection to the lodge and miss having regular visits and contact.”

The gesture did not go unnoticed at the latest board of education meeting, as School District 71 superintendent Tom Demeo spoke about how staff and students combined their efforts to provide some cheer for the resident on her special day.

“This is just an act of kindness,” he said. “I really want to commend the school.”

READ MORE: Friends give Courtenay veteran a drive-by 99th birthday greeting

As well, Bigfoot Donuts sent a large box of 99 treats, while other people sent flowers. Bonora Day was thrilled by the response to her mother’s birthday and adds her mom was surprised to learn all those cards were for her.

“I think she felt pretty darned special,” she said.

Dot was born in Cumberland at the exact site where she now lives, which used to serve as the hospital.

“She was born in the property that she now resides in,” Bonora Day said. “I look forward to the day when I can sit with her in her room and we can look at all those cards together.”



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CumberlandSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Cumberland Community School students made a banner, among things, to wish Dot a happy birthday. Photo, Comox Valley Schools/Mary Lee

Cumberland Community School students made a banner, among things, to wish Dot a happy birthday. Photo, Comox Valley Schools/Mary Lee

Just Posted

Port Hardy Senior Citizens’ Society president Rosaline Glynn holds up the certificate from B.C. Premier John Horgan next to Loaves & Fishes director Peter Sinclair, vice president Kris Huddlestan, and Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy council to nominate Glynn for the Order of British Columbia

Glynn’s nomination was endorsed unanimously by council.

Emergency personnel crews on scene assisting BCEHS with patient care. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Speed and alcohol believed to be the cause of Saturday night car crash

More information on the crash could potentially be released at a later date.

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in accident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19 logging site in Gold River

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident

North Island Gazette file photo of Port Hardy council
Council discusses Highland Manor sale

Port Hardy council debates what approach to take to Highland Manor after sale.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read