Fold 1,000 cranes and the gods will grant your wish. If that’s true then they surely must be listening to Revelstoke where people across the community have been busy folding thousands of origami cranes to help commemorate the 100 anniversary of the March 4, 1910, avalanche that killed 58 CPR workers.
“We have about 5,000 at the Parks office,” Alice Weber, Parks Canada educational outreach worker, told a crowd of students at Okanagan College on Friday.
Weber said requests for instructions on folding the delicate-looking paper birds have come from people across Canada and the United States. The birds are being sent to Revelstoke and strung together. They will be used in the March 4 commemoration service at Grizzly Plaza to honour the 58 men who died.
The deaths resonate strongly in the Japanese-Canadian community and across the Pacific in japan. Tomo Fujimura has spent months researching the avalanche and its aftermath as 32 of the men who died were Japanese contract labourers.
He told the students at the college that three relatives of one of the dead workers will be here next week for the local commemoration service at Grizzly Plaza and he hopes others will attend ceremonies in Rogers pass this summer.
Here’s a video produced by the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier and Parks Canada with assistance from RSS and the Revelstoke Museum & Archives. And below that, photos from the crane folding session at the college. If you’s like to fold your own cranes at home you can find an instructional video at http://www.origamitube.com.