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.

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

The new FVRL Express Service was inaugurated during the pandemic. The system is seen here in Maple Ridge’s branch. (Special to Black Press Media)
FVRL not currently planning for fundraising foundation

The largest library system in B.C. has a dozen small volunteer groups instead

The RCMP was called to a condo complex in Langley City in the early hours of Jan. 18, 2021, for a shooting. (Shane Mackichan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Our View: Too many shootings as gang war continues

We need to ask what more we could be doing to stop the endless gang wars

A lawsuit over three stormwater floods of a building over the past year has been launched against Langley City. (Langley Advance Times file)
Flooded apartment building sparks lawsuit against Langley City

A downtown landlord claims a lack of storm sewer upgrades is negligence

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Most Read