Vigil tradition altered

It’s been 18 years since a quiet Vernon neighbourhood became the site of Canada’s second worst mass murder.

On April 5, 1996, the Gakhal and Saran families were preparing for a wedding when the husband of one of the women arrived at a home on Okanagan Avenue and began shooting.

“In years past the Gakhal family, in collaboration with community service agencies in Vernon, have organized a vigil to commemorate the loss of these citizens to domestic violence,” said Brooke McLardy, with the Vernon Women’s Transition House Society.

“This year, a vigil will not be held as the family will be remembering their loss in private.”

The victims of the 1996 tragedy were Karnail and Darshan Gakhal; son Jaspal; daughters Balwinder, Kalwinder, Harvinder, Rajwar and Jasbir Saran; and son-in-law Roger Saran.

Previous memorials have attracted family, friends and members of the community.

“We would appreciate that the media assist us to let our community know that there will not be a public vigil this year and to respect the family’s privacy at this time,” said McLardy.


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