113 new bricks were installed at Sarah Beckett Memorial Park Tuesday. Langford mother Evelyn Vasallo is relieved her son’s brick is laid. Jamie Whyte died due to a diabetic coma at 36. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

‘It’s the end of a chapter’: Mother relieved to have son’s memorial brick placed at Sarah Beckett Memorial Park

113 new bricks laid Tuesday morning

A wave of relief rushed over Evelyn Vasallo when she found out her son’s brick had been laid at Sarah Beckett Memorial Park, alongside 113 new bricks Tuesday.

“It doesn’t take away the hurt that I felt when my daughter visited and it wasn’t there, but I’m really happy because I’m sure I wasn’t the only person that was waiting for their brick,” Vasallo said.

“I think they [Rotary Club of West Shore] did a wonderful job and it’s a beautiful park.”

Vasallo had paid $200 for the brick that had an inscription reading: Jamie Whyte 1966-2002. Jamie was her son who died of a diabetic coma at 36.

The 70-year-old had visited the park in December with her daughter, who had flown in from Edmonton. She was shocked when she couldn’t find the brick.

The bricks were supposed to be placed at the playground back in October, to help fund the Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground, to pay tribute to the West Shore RCMP officer killed by an impaired driver in 2016.

RELATED: Mother shocked to learn her son’s memorial brick yet to be installed at Sarah Beckett Memorial Park

ALSO READ: Rotary raises more than $260k for Sarah Beckett Memorial Park

Due to the number of brick orders, fitting in last-minute purchases and snowy and rainy conditions, the installation was pushed back month after month. Now, the Rotary of West Shore confirms all bricks have been laid.

“Those are the last of them,” said Dianna Seaton, Rotary director of community service. “I want to express our apologies about the delays. We know many people have a strong emotional connection to this park because of the bricks.”

According to Seaton, the bricks were inscribed, but just waiting for the City of Langford to get a crew together under ideal conditions. On Tuesday morning, the bricks had reached the top of the list.

Now, the West Shore club turns to their next fundraising event, Lobsterfest, taking place at the Langford Legion in April.

“It’s the end of a chapter,” Vasallo said. “My day has been made just knowing it’s finally in.”

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
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