Walk marks two years since sawmill shooting

May 3, 2016

By: Nanaimo Bulletin

Saturday marked a sombre anniversary in Nanaimo as it was two years to the day that a shooting occurred at the now-closed Western Forest Products mill.

Tony Sudar and Earl Kelly were injured in the April 30 incident, while Michael John Lunn and Fred James McEachern were killed.

Lorraine McEachern, Fred’s wife, said her family is doing as well as can be expected.

“We’re all doing fine here, carrying on … we’re just being together and working through it together,” said McEachern.

Lunn’s family members are also trying to carry on with their lives.

“It’s two years; we’re re-living how it went down, but we’re also re-living how [Michael] lived, so we’re trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got,” said Marlene Lunn, Michael’s widow.

The alleged shooter is scheduled to stand trial in September. McEachern said she is as prepared as can be for the trial.

“We haven’t really done a whole lot in regards to it. We’re just waiting to see what happens with the date because you know it can be changed. I hope it doesn’t … it prolongs the healing for all of us and it would be nice to be able to have a little bit of closure,” McEachern said.

Lunn, who plans to attend the trial with her daughter Marcy, is bracing for it as well.

“We’re going to become victims again, but we have to do this and it’s part of our journey as well, so we’ll be there and hopefully it will go on schedule,” Lunn said.

In the wake of the shooting, Marlene and Marcy Lunn and a group of friends formed the Red Shirt Foundation – after Michael’s love of red T-shirts – which has a goal of raising awareness of workplace violence.

The foundation has recently conducted a research project, surveying five mills.

“We’re going to compile [information], give it back to the mill workers and hopefully work with management and the unions in order to change some of the workplace policies that are feeding workplace violence,” said Marlene.

By: Nanaimo Bulletin

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