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Community of Harrow rallies after tragedy shakes community


locals walk in vigil for slain family

The community of Harrow has rallied to support each other after a family of four from the area was found dead last week.


The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) continues to investigate the tragedy, which was reported last Thursday at a home on County Road 13. Officers were called to a home in the 1200 block of County Road 13 between Dunn Road and Gore Road around 1:30 p.m. Thursday where the family, a father, mother and two children, were discovered.


An estimated crowd of over 1,000 people – many from Harrow but others from surrounding areas including Amherstburg – attended a vigil at the Harrow soccer park Sunday night. People paid tribute to the friends and loved ones, followed by a walk around the track surrounding the fields. Many wore red shirts with the slogan “Light Up The Park” on it and many others wore ribbons.


While police have yet to officially confirm the identity of the family or cause of death, it was clear that many in the Harrow community knew them and mourned them. Tereena Upcott, one of the organizers of the vigil, said her friend was one of the victims and called her an “amazing, amazing woman.”


She said her friend was not only a great person, but her children were also wonderful and gave back themselves.


Landis Chartier said she knew her friend from the Harrow soccer board of directors.


“I met a very incredible mother a couple of years ago,” she said. “Without her, Harrow soccer would not have had the success the last two years that we've had.” The son was feisty and free spirited, she added, and the daughter “was beautiful inside and out.”


The community was “levelled to the ground” by the tragedy but she added her thanks to all who attended for the support.


Another speaker, simply identifying herself as Lindsay, said she wasn't ready to address the loss of her friend directly but said she was “a wonderful, wonderful friend I got to grow up with.” She noted she was one of many to feel sadness, anger, and confusion and noted she loved her friend very much.


“How does one process such news and be OK?” she asked.


Rev. Darrow Woods of Harrow United Church said he struggled with what to say. He was one of many clergy from churches in the community making themselves available.


“We're here in case you need us to be here,” said Woods.


Noting he has been preaching for 35 years, Woods added it was still difficult to come up with the correct words.


“We come here with heavy hearts,” he said. “I wish there were magic words I could say to take away the confusion, pain and loss.”


Woods said despite the pain many were feeling, there is still a lot of good in the world.


“We have to encourage each other to be our best selves. We need each other,” said Woods. “We need to be signs of hope for each other. We need to keep loving each other and holding each other up.”


“I think your presence here says so much,” added Father Matt Kucharski of St. Anthony's Church in Harrow and St. John the Baptist Church in Amherstburg. “We may not see the path forward but together we will get there.”


In addition to the names not officially released by police, a cause of death had yet to be announced as of press time.

Community of Harrow rallies after tragedy shakes community

By Ron Giofu

 

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Dee Jensy
Dee Jensy
26 jun

I think it is totally inappropriate to be holding vigils and fundraisers etc, when only a select few closest to the victims are informed about what has happened and who it has happened to. Rather, wait so the greater public can participate and contribute TOO.

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