Mill worker Puran Singh Bhogal (left) and United Steelworkers Local 1-425 first vice-present Dean Colville (centre) listen intently while Brenda Armstrong (right) shares the heartbreaking story of her son’s workplace death in 2013.

Mill worker Puran Singh Bhogal (left) and United Steelworkers Local 1-425 first vice-present Dean Colville (centre) listen intently while Brenda Armstrong (right) shares the heartbreaking story of her son’s workplace death in 2013.

Williams Lake recognizes National Day of Mourning

The mother of a 27-year-old man who died on the job in 2013 put a name and face to the statistics during the Day of Mourning ceremony.

The mother of a 27-year-old Oliver man who died on the job in 2013 put a name and face to the statistics during the Day of Mourning ceremony in Williams Lake Monday.

Standing at the podium outside of city hall, Brenda Armstrong held up a memorial card depicting her son Sheldon Skolos’ photograph.

“In 2013, he was one of the ones that didn’t come home,” she faltered. “He is my oldest son. He had two sons, they were eight and four, and he should have come home that day.”

After his death, BC Coroners Service confirmed Sheldon died at a construction site in Oliver.

He was assisting a forklift operator in transporting construction materials when he was struck by a load of oriented strand boards.

“He worked beside his friend who was part of that accident and lives with that every day,” Armstrong said.

Of the 128 work-related deaths in B.C. in 2013, her son’s was one of them, and it affected everything that happened in her life this last year by 100 per cent, she said.

“There’s no way this should happen. People should come home from work and see their children and their spouses.”

Armstrong has three sons and said she never gave a lot of thought to work safety until her oldest son Sheldon’s death, but now feels strongly that work-related deaths must be prevented.

United Steelworkers Local 1-425 vice-president Dean Colville said he hopes in his lifetime he will be able stand up at the podium and celebrate that no one died at work.

“It’s pretty clear, whether we are government officials, companies, workers, we all share a common goal,” Colville said.

South Cariboo Area Labour Council president Linda Rowley said it’s a sad occasion each year to recognize enough hasn’t been done to prevent workplace injuries.

There are real people behind those statistics and very few prosecutions against companies, she continued.

“More people die at work than while fighting wars,” Salvation Army Capt. Ben Lippers said before offering a prayer. “This day gives us the opportunity to say thank you to all those people who have made a sacrifice so we can enjoy a high standard of living.”

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

Just Posted

The wind has been gusting Friday, March 5 in Williams Lake with the risk of a thunderstorm in the forecast for later in the afternoon. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
More than 500 customers in Cariboo without power, risk of thunderstorm Friday afternoon

The BC Hydro map is adding more power outages as the afternoon unfolds

The two suspects arrested south of 150 Mile House Tuesday, March 2, following a high-speed chase with the RCMP have been charged. (Will Roberts photo)
High-speed chase suspects charged, remain in custody after arrest south of Williams Lake

John Craig and Maggie M. Higgott appeared in Williams Lake Provincial Court March 4

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Many members of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club (pictured) have teamed up with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society to host a free ski in celebration of World Water Day. (Patrick Davies photo - Black Press Media)
Conservation society, cross country ski club, celebrate World Water Day with free ski March 6

The free ski will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 6 at Bull Mountain

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read