Mike Coleman, who served as the mayor of Duncan for 22 years, died on Tuesday, June 29. Here, he attends his last council meeting in 2005. (Citizen file)

Mike Coleman, who served as the mayor of Duncan for 22 years, died on Tuesday, June 29. Here, he attends his last council meeting in 2005. (Citizen file)

Year in Review: Who we lost in Cowichan in 2021

Some of those we lost in 2021

The City of Duncan’s longest serving mayor has died. But Michael Coleman was more than that — a lot more — and the Cowichan Valley was the beneficiary of all of his skill, professionalism, humour, and passion. Coleman, who died at home surrounded by family early on Tuesday, June 29, was born in Vancouver on March 23, 1943.

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The Cowichan Valley lost a community champion. Pamela Mavis Marie Campbell died on June 1 at the age of 78. A mom, a caregiver and a friend to all those that needed it, she’d faced many health challenges over the last six months.

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One of the leading volunteers, and a force for social justice, in the Cowichan region has died. Anne Balding died on July 6 after receiving compassionate care from two south Cowichan District Hospital staff members and friends in the weeks leading up to her death. Her work with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Warmland Shelter, New Democratic Party and Meals on the Ground program that helps feed the disadvantaged, for which she and Claudia Roland were awarded the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Black Tie Volunteer of the Year in 2018, speak of her dedication to her community.

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The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road Monday morning has been identified as a 17-year-old. The RCMP have also released the fact that the teen was stabbed, and that the suspected attacker has been released from custody at this time without conditions.

“For many in the community the thought of a 17-year-old being stabbed to death is incomprehensible,” says North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment’s commander Inspector Chris Bear. “Investigators, Victims Service workers and grief counsellors have been contacted, and are working with those most affected by this tragic incident.”

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First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan on Friday April 9. North Cowichan Duncan RCMP officers and paramedics from B.C. Emergency Health Services worked to resuscitate the six-year-old, but the child was later pronounced dead in hospital. RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating.

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A body that was pulled from the Cowichan River on Friday, May 21 was been identified as a 49-year-old Duncan man Thomas Turner. There was not believed to be any criminal involvement in his death.

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Avery Oye, 11, from Mill Bay, died after a collision in that community Monday evening. The Shawnigan Lake RCMP investigated the crash, which took place just after 6:30 p.m. on July 12. A pick-up truck towing a boat collided with the youth, who was on a bicycle, at the corner of Benko Road and Kearny Place.

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North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP and South Vancouver Island Traffic, Services investigated a crash that killed a 35-year-old woman, later identified by her family as Hope Willford, just outside Duncan on Monday morning, July 5.

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One person was killed in a two-car crash at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and the Cobble Hill Road/Kilmalu Road intersection just before 3 p.m. on Oct. 14. RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said a Kia Forte heading south on the TCH struck a Ford E 350 van heading north. She said the driver of the Kia died at the scene and the van’s driver was taken to hospital with apparently non-life threatening injuries.

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A father and son have been identified as the victims of a double-homicide at a Crofton residence early Saturday morning. Tom and Brad Johnson were found dead in the home at 6848 Crofton Rd. when North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP arrived just after midnight. Justin James Dodd, 33, of Duncan was arrested at the scene and since charged with two counts of second- degree murder. Dodd has elected to represent himself in court.

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The BC Coroners Service is investigating a death in a work place in Duncan on Oct. 28. The death occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. last Thursday at the Eagle Auto Wrecking site on Boys Road. Eagle Auto Wrecking said out of respect for the family of the individual who died, they are not making a statement at this time, though they did say the accident did not have anything to do with work being done by the business, instead with work being done at the site by a third party.

2021 Year in Review