Finish Line Transport truck with Cliff and Gina Fairbairn in one of the Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Finish Line Transport truck with Cliff and Gina Fairbairn in one of the Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Considerations made to keep Island community’s drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

Drive-by birthday celebrations for young children and older adults hitting landmark birthdays have become a prominent and uplifting experience for so many in Crofton since daily lives were changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But not all were on board with the concept and a noise complaint to the Municipality of North Cowichan prompted a visit from a bylaw officer on Monday that put the celebrations in jeopardy. But some of the main organizers reached a compromise to keep them going.

One of the contentious issues was the loud train horn on Cliff and Gina Fairbairn’s Finish Line Transport rig.

“We’re going to go ahead with it,” said Gina. “We’ll just avoid the horn. You may see some extra little things. I’ve encouraged more trucks to come in.”

The possible end of the celebrations created a furor in the community. The large majority of residents were in favour of keeping the mini parades intact, considering the duration of the noise – usually only within a five-minute period.

But to keep the peace and go on with the festivities, the Fairbairns. along with Mike and Joan Colwell and others, were willing to do just about anything.

“We decided we would finish the birthdays out till the end of June,” noted Gina. “Some of the kids are like three and four. They want the trucks.

“We’ve had a few negatives. We’ve avoided them and here we go. Some of the messages, kids are so excited. We’re not going to let them down. We’ll still do it. We’ll avoid the horns and maybe we’ll do something else. Let the cars honk all they want.”

There appears to be a sudden resurgence in the short parades after the complaint to bylaw enforcement came to light and many more vehicles seem poised to join the processions in the days ahead.

It’s a busy stretch of birthdays coming up from June 5-19. Gina said there’s a 60th birthday Friday, two birthdays Sunday, one Monday and one next Thursday.

The Fairbairns have gone out of their way to make birthdays special throughout the pandemic, especially for the younger kids. They’ve donated birthday T-shirts for the kids while the families of the adults pay for their own.

The Colwells of Cowichan Valley Ag Hauling Inc. are also accepting of changes to maintain the new tradition, rather than shutting down. They had initially thought of pulling out due to the risk of a fine if a second complaint was lodged.

Related: COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

“Let’s get these kids done,” stressed Joan. “We have the same kids that come out every night. It’s just really fun to watch. We’ll get it done. We can’t use our horns.”

She had a call in to the bylaw officer Tuesday to ask questions to ensure compliance with those who expressed concerns.

“That’s what this is about. It’s not about being right or any of that. We have to work for all of us, not just some of us.”

The Colwells’ involvement stems from wanting to put smiles on peoples’ faces.

“It’s just a hard time for everyone,” said Joan.

But the celebrations have mostly brought the community together and she’s pleased about that.

“The last thing we want to do is tear Crofton apart. Crofton is an amazing place to live.

“The kids are so fun. They stand on the side of the road and the kids are jumping up and down. It’s nice to know our town is still thriving.

“So let’s just get it done. If we have to be a little quieter, let’s be a little quieter.”

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring weighed in on the situation Monday. No tickets were issued and nothing was shut down, he indicated.

Related: North Cowichan Mayor assesses drive-by celebration situation in Crofton

“People are simply being asked, to echo Dr. Bonnie Henry’s words, to ‘be kind’ in recognition that some folks aren’t all-in on the excessive noise.”

CommunityCoronavirus

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

 

Birthday cavalcade winds it way down the street in Crofton. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Birthday cavalcade winds it way down the street in Crofton. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Kathie Nimmo enjoyed the acknowledgement of her 80th birthday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Kathie Nimmo enjoyed the acknowledgement of her 80th birthday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Cowichan Valley Ag Hauling Inc.’s truck is a fixture in the Crofton drive-by birthdays. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Cowichan Valley Ag Hauling Inc.’s truck is a fixture in the Crofton drive-by birthdays. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Brody Greer, 33, was reported missing by his family on Nov. 25. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police looking for high-risk missing man

Brody Greer, 33, last seen by police Nov. 5

Island Health reported an exposure of COVID-19 at Sir James Douglas Elementary on Nov. 23. Those with high-risk exposures have been contacted directly, the health authority says. (Google maps)
Victoria elementary school added to list of COVID-19 exposures

Fairfield school is region’s third school listed with an exposure this month

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

Some older Canadian currency will have its legal status removed at the start of the new year(. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com)
Bank of Canada puts the boots to old bills

$1 and $2, $25 to $500 and $1,000 lose cash value Jan. 1, 2021

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Most Read