Yellowknife

Friends plan memorial parade for Robin Mercer-Sproule


The late Robin Mercer-Sproule will be remembered in a parade of vehicles through downtown Yellowknife on Saturday, May 23.

A procession will begin at Yellowknife’s Multiplex parking lot at 1pm on Saturday, then complete a lap of the city in memory of Robin, who passed away last week at the age of 56.

“We are asking folks if they want to decorate their vehicles to honour Robin in each person’s own special way,” said Jan Vallillee, one of the procession’s organizers.

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Vallillee said decorating your vehicle is optional but, if you’d like to, Robin’s favourite colours were red, white, and black.

The route will take vehicles downtown past the community arena and the site of the former Gerry Murphy arena in a nod to Robin’s decades-long Yellowknife sporting career.

Vehicles will then loop around Jackfish Lake before returning into the city via Old Airport Road, finishing on Jeske Crescent.

“We will have a hockey bag to collect cards if people wanted to hand those over during the drive-by,” Vallillee said.

Anyone requiring more information or looking to help out can email Jan Vallillee.

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People are asked to gather in their vehicles at 12:30pm at the Multiplex parking lot.

“We encourage you to team up with your bubble of friends or family to reduce traffic disruption and bring people, safely, closer together,” said Vallillee.

A fundraiser in Robin’s name had raised more than $55,000 for the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation as of 11:30am on Tuesday. Its target is $200,000.

Vehicle processions have become an important means of paying respects to people during the Covid-19 pandemic. Funerals and wakes cannot take place in their usual sense as part of an attempt to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Though the NWT has now entered phase one of its pandemic recovery plan, strict limits on indoor gatherings remain in place – including funerals, which currently can have only up to 25 attendees, physically distanced by household.

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