By David F. Rooney
Homeless though he was, Les Wetselaar was nonetheless a member of our community whose life was taken last week when he was swept away by the Columbia River.
Exactly how that happened last Wednesday, April 20, is not yet clear but his loss leaves a small and humble vacancy in Revelstoke.
Local residents will recognize the tall, gangly loner. He had a few problems but seemed pretty inoffensive at those times when he tried to maintain some control over his life.
Few people can say they knew him well, but Sangha Bean proprietor Krista Cadieux probably knew him better than most because she regarded him as one of the lost souls life buffets about. Les was a frequent visitor to the café and was always on his best behaviour. Krista and her staff treated him like any other customer — even when they were giving him a free meal — and in return he offered to do small things to help out.
I’m pretty sure Les appreciated the small daily acts of compassion by Krista and her staff, acts of compassion that extend even past his death with the creation on Sunday of a Facebook memorial page.
“He touched so many lives and I am loving hearing the memories,” Krista told The Current. “We should all be able to learn a little more about Les.”
Everyone is welcome to post a kind word or a memory on this page. And its existence may even lead to a connection with his family. Sadly, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have so far been unable to locate any members of Les’ family. If you think you know who they are please ask them to contact the detachment at 250-837-5255.