Close to 1,000 people attended the vigil held Wednesday night in Yellowknife for those who died in the August 20 crash of First Air flight 6560. The event, held in an Arctic Sunwest hangar, showed how deeply the whole community was affected. The Northern Territories Federation of Labour along with CUPE representatives organized the event.
With guidance and support from Mary Lou Cherwaty, president and CEO of the Northern Territories Federation of Labour, and a CUPE member and flight attendant with First Air, the business community in Yellowknife and surrounding areas came together, making this occasion possible, donating both their time and services to this important event.
Among the crash victims were two flight attendants, Ann-Marie Chassie and Ute Merritt, both CUPE members. Pilot Blair Rutherford, whose wife is a First Air flight attendant, and co-pilot Dave Hare also perished.
Speakers included Yellowknife mayor Gordon van Tighem and First Air representative Michael Olson, and local union member Renée St-Cyr and pilot representative Jeffrew Bowden gave readings. Ryan Peters, a local pastor who is also a part-time First Air flight attendant, led the vigil.
The ceremony included a fly-past of some fifteen aircrafts from different airlines and helicopter companies, ending with a Canadian North Boeing 737, the same aircraft type as the one that crashed.
The tragedy claimed the lives of twelve people - eight passengers and four crew members