Vancouver Island woman draws portrait of B.C. fire chief who was swept away by floods

‘I felt their loss, and wanted to reach out to them’ says Harpaul Nandhra.

Harpaul Nandhra’s portrait of Cache Creek fire chief Clayton Cassidy.

When Harpaul Nandhra—a mother of three who lives in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island—heard about the disappearance of Cache Creek Fire Chief Clayton Cassidy in May 2017, and how he was found three weeks later, she knew she had to do something.

“I didn’t know the family, but I read about it online when they were searching, and then when they found him,” she says. “I felt I really needed to do something for the family.”

Nandhra says that art has been a hobby of hers for many years. “I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. And I enjoy doing portraits.”

She did a pencil portrait of Cassidy based on a picture of him that she saw online. When she finished the portrait, she reached out as to how she could send it to Cassidy’s wife Rose.

“I sent the portrait to Rose, and heard back from her that she loved it,” says Nandhra. “It was very touching. I got quite a few messages back from family members saying ‘Thank you.’ Clayton’s son Derek got in touch with me and said I’d captured his father’s eyes and smile perfectly. That was what I’d wanted to do; and I started crying.

“I could tell there was so much love in that family, and could feel how great his loss was.”

Nandhra lost her own partner suddenly several years ago, and says she knew what the family would be feeling. “I felt their loss, felt for Rose, and wanted to reach out to them.”

“Friends asked me why I would do that [the portrait of Clayton] for someone I don’t know. When you’ve experienced that loss, and then hear of someone else losing someone, you feel that loss, you feel for them. You know what they’re going through, because you’ve been through that yourself.”



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Celebrating 50 years of Rotary in action

The Rotary Club of Ladysmith was formed September 20, 1970

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Paul Manly reacts to Liberal throne speech

Manly says the Liberals need to back up their promises with action

Island Savings closes Ladysmith branch

Ladysmith branch members can be served by the Chemainus branch

New Chemainus development offers prime building lots in a diverse neighbourhood

Beachwood Estates officially opens with interest already high due to its location

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read