Tom Wilson is seen here at the Short Close Song Shelter in Ladysmith on Sept. 29 wearing a black hat that he lost the next day aboard a BC Ferries vessel. (Tom Mrnka Photo)

Missing hat story among Ladysmith’s most-read

Remembering 2018: Acclaimed singer loses irreplaceable hat after Ladysmith show

It’s not hard to predict the top candidates for those year-end lists of “top stories” that seem to dominate the news cycle this time of year.

Natural disasters, celebrities, triumph and tragedy, Trump: they all seem as inevitable as a Symonds Street road closure during a snowfall.

But sometimes the stories aren’t quite so unsurprising. Sometimes, they are about a hat.

Take the most-read entertainment story to come out of the Ladysmith area in 2018, according to online clicks as recorded by the Chronicle’s parent company, Black Press.

On Sept. 30, after playing to a sellout crowd at the Short Close Song Shelter in Ladysmith, rock guitarist Tom Wilson of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and Junkhouse lost his hat while travelling on the B.C. Ferries boat from Duke Point to Tsawwassen.

The missing headgear was a black hat manufactured by Beaver Brand Hats, a company which dates back to 1860 but has since ceased production in recent years.

“It’s a very special hat … It’s an irreplaceable hat,” said local concert promoter Cathleen McMahon on a video posted to Facebook. “We are asking for you to get in touch and see if we can get this hat returned.”

The Ladysmith resident’s video was viewed more than 1,100 times but she encouraged people to continue sharing it.

“I’ve done all the things I’m supposed to do, I’ve called lost and found and put out a description of the hat but it has not surfaced,” she said. “If you know somebody who was travelling on a B.C. Ferries boat last Saturday from Duke Point to Tsawwassen and (found) a black hat, a Beaver company hat, and happened to see it and thought it would be a great souvenir, no questions asked just please return it and we’ll get it back to its rightful owner.”

YEAR 2018

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