In the fall of 2015, members of the Festival of Lights were trying to figure out how they would again tackle the issue of replacing all the lights in the Chuck Perrin Memorial Tree (the large fir tree at the Aggie Hall), which had 3,000 bulbs in it. The FOL committee had worked on a three-year plan to re-string and re-bulb the tree.
Festival has been fortunate that the folks at RKM Crane have always been there, when needed to help, in re-bulbing as well as putting up and taking down the tree-top every year but the tree is always growing and needed refreshing.
Nanaimo Airport Steps In
We were very fortunate when the folks from the Nanaimo Airport came along and asked Festival if they could become a partner and what could they do that could make a difference. The first thing that came to mind was, “Re-doing the Chuck Perrin Memorial Tree in LED lights”!
After a couple of meetings and an official proposal the Nanaimo Airport Commission came back and said they would be thrilled to take on that project and anything Festival needed to make it happen… just let them know! That very generous overture has turned into a five-year agreement between the FOL and Nanaimo Airport and has enabled us to put in over 4,000 of the new generation five-diode LED lights as well as all new strings and even a new tree topper.
As well as the new lights, which FOL members will not have to worry about for at least five years the tree has a whole new look. Many folks had said the tree was looking “sad” at Light Up so with the new lights and the “new design” this year the turn on of the Chuck Perrin Tree was amazing … and this had become possible because of the huge support from the Nanaimo Airport.
Having all this happen… though… still takes volunteers and when we took all the old lights down and put up the new ones… we not only had the donation and support from RKM Cranes, in Chemainus, but AGAIN … the employees from BC Hydro stepped forward and really helped. For two days we had six or more volunteers from Hydro come down and help out. Hydro donates the use of the bucket trucks and supplies fuel and their lines people come out and really do a great job for us.
This really shows what Light Up is all about… with folks like the Nanaimo Airport stepping forward to help Festival make it grow to companies that volunteer their equipment, like RKM and BC Hydro, to the many volunteers that come and help even in terrible weather.
Ladysmith is very fortunate to have people like all of them.