For the last days of his life, Monckton stood outside Haro Park Centre care home in the West End and played her trumpet. She knew he would recognize favourite tunes such as Blue Moon and When the Saints Go Marching In.
“He loved Blue Moon,” she said.
“He taught me it. We used to sing it together. I knew he’d be able to connect with that. I tried to give him a little taste of closeness with his family.”
Garry Monckton died April 2 of COVID-19.
Sam Monckton spoke in front of a memorial she unveiled Tuesday morning to her dad and other seniors in the West End and Coal Harbour who have died of COVID-19.
Of the 219 pandemic deaths in B.C, an estimated 10 per cent have been residents of the downtown Vancouver community.
The memorial is a poster at a bus shelter on the north side of the 1100-block Davie. The poster is expected to be in place for several weeks.
Garry Monckton was 77 years old when he died. As a blind person, he became a physiotherapist who treated a teenage Bobby Orr when he played for the Ontario Hockey Association’s Oshawa Generals.
After his wife Maggie died in 2013, Monckton moved west to Vancouver. When he died he was living with dementia in Haro Centre.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End, was unable to make it to Vancouver for the unveiling because forest-fire smoke disrupted his flight from Victoria.
Replacing him at the unveiling was Anthony Kupferschmidt, executive director of the West End Seniors’ Network.
He said that the memorial is a way to “recognize, celebrate, remember and put the names, faces and stories to the numbers we hear daily of those lost to COVID-19.
“Those lost were our friends, neighbourhoods, our parents and our grandparents,” he said.
“The scale of the loss to the loved ones left behind cannot be overestimated.”