Claire Milliken signs a T-shirt Friday to mark the 25th anniversary of the I Care campaign in Falkland.

Claire Milliken signs a T-shirt Friday to mark the 25th anniversary of the I Care campaign in Falkland.

I Care flies 25 proud years

After a long, steep walk up Gyp Mountain, Anne Nikon didn’t let gasps for air stop her from reflecting on her mom, Fran

After a long, steep walk up Gyp Mountain, Anne Nikon didn’t let gasps for air stop her from reflecting on her mom, Fran.

“My mom’s a bugger to put the flag up this high. She probably did it on purpose so people would remember what a bugger she was,” said Anne.

Anne Nikon and about a dozen others made their way from Falkland to the giant Canadian flag on the nearby hillside Friday to mark the 25th anniversary of the I Care campaign and to remember Fran Nikon, who had launched the campaign and died June 27, 2015.

“I am just proud of her,” said Anne of Fran’s decision April 1, 1991 to rally Falkland residents and Canadians to be proud of their country.

April 1 was selected as the date to show she wasn’t fooling around.

“She was peeved off about people feeling they did not want to be part of Canada. She turned it into something positive,” said Anne.

A few years later, Fran and other residents decided to install a 28-by-56-foot Canadian flag on Gyp Mountain.

It has become a landmark for those travelling on Highway 97.

“You drive and drive and then you come around the corner and you see the flag,” said daughter Polly Stepp.

Among those taking part in Friday’s celebrations was Fran’s friend Claire Milliken.

“She was a real character,” said Milliken, who is inspired, like others, to continue Fran’s legacy.

“She cared about it (I Care and the flag) so much and we don’t want to see it end. I look up at the flag and I think of her.”