Major Jade Watson Deputy Commander of Land Task Force Pacific (left) and MWO Kim Doerr (right) with the Canadian Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry present Master Barber Christine Fernandez of The Man Cave with plaque in appreciation of her support to Operation Lentus 17-04. Gaeil Farrar photo

Williams Lake barber provides free hair cuts for firefighters, military and other wildfire teams

Military representatives show their appreciation with special coin and a plaque

Christine Fernandez is so happy with the help she and her husband received during their recent wildfire evacuation that she is providing free haircuts for men and women firefighters, RCMP, military, search and rescue and other support workers involved in the wildfire suppression efforts.

A master barber and owner of The Man Cave, Christine has provided a total of 127 free hair cuts, valued at $3,175 since starting her project July 29.

She has also reduced her fees on other services such as manicures, pedicures, facials and hot waxing for those involved in the wildfire effort.

“If the fires go on until winter so be it,” Christine said. “It is just my way of saying thank you for all their hard work and effort.”

Christine and her husband, Daniel Webber, and their two-year-old daughter, Lily, were part of the Polly/Moffat Creek wildfire evacuation order in July.

When the order came down they had four horses, two dogs, 50 meat chickens, 12 laying hens, four turkeys and one beef cow to relocate along with themselves.

Fortunately they were able to ride out the evacuation order staying with friends in Horsefly.

“We had a lot of help from our neighbours and my customers to move our animals to a ranch at Horsefly,” Christine said.

While he wouldn’t take any payment for the help, Christine said she will also be giving free haircuts for a year to the neighbour who looked after their horses and is shy about being named.

“There is a huge sense of community in Horsefly. I feel very blessed and lucky to be a part of it,” Christine said. “I’m not used to that being from the Lower Mainland where everyone wants to take, take, take and not give.”

In Oct. 2016 Christine and Daniel moved to the Cariboo from White Rock and settled into life on a 10-acre hobby farm on the Horsefly Road at the eastern end of the Miocene community.

While Daniel stays at home to care for the farm and daughter, Lily, Christine commutes to Williams Lake to operate The Man Cave barber shop located on Mackinnon Avenue in the mall at the top of Carson Drive.

Every seven weeks Christine returns to Whiterock for a weekend to continue cutting hair for her longtime customers in that community.

“I love my customers and I love what I do,” Christine said.

This week Christine was surprised by two presentations of thanks that were delivered to her at her barber shop by members of the Canadian Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry whose members have been working with the wildfire effort in the Cariboo and other parts of the province.

Major Jade Watson Deputy Commander Land Task Force Pacific presented Christine with a plaque in appreciation of her support for Operation Lentus 17-04, which he said was only the fourth such honour presented this year.

“We really appreciate the support of everyone in the Cariboo,” Major Watson said. “We don’t ever expect anything because it is our job to help Canadians so when someone like Christine donates her time to show her support it means a great deal to us.”

Christine was also honoured to receive a special coin from the Military Police Unit Equimalt recognizing professional excellence that was presented to her by Major Lisa Clark, Naval Provost Marshal Land Task Force Pacific.

“I feel very special,” Christine said. “I am honoured.”

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