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

Adam Walker visits the VI Free Daily/PQB News studios. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Adam Walker eager to get to work as Parksville-Qualicum MLA

Podcast: Longtime Qualicum Beach resident discusses politics, much more

Firefighters try to put out a structure fire on the Island Highway in Nanoose Bay early Saturday morning. (Nanoose Bay Volunteer Fire Department photo)
Horses in nearby stable saved as building burns down in Nanoose Bay

Firefighters called out in the early-morning hours Saturday

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

(File photo)
Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Crooks hit businesses, vehicles

Oceanside RCMP received 288 complaints in one-week period

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

Most Read