Late Vernon councillor Dalvir Nahal’s beloved white BMW car came to the forefront at a special ceremony in her memory Monday, June 12.
Colleague and friend, Coun. Kari Gares, told the crowd of 100 of Nahal’s family, friends, and co-workers, that she drove up beside a white BMW Monday, and swore her friend was in the driver’s seat, smiling away, complete with her favourite big sunglasses.
Nahal’s brother Ranvir, who attended the ceremony in a black T-shirt and shorts, joked his sister would have got him a dress shirt from her car to wear.
There were many memories and laughs shared as Vernon council unveiled a memorial plaque in Nahal’s honour. The two-term councillor died in office Sept. 5, 2021, at age 45, from cancer.
“Dalvir was not just a councillor. She was a beacon of hope. A champion of justice. A pillar of strength,” said Gares, who acted as emcee for Monday’s 30-minute ceremony held at Spirit Square outside Vernon City Hall, and who choked back tears near the end of her tribute.
“Beyond her accomplishments and accolades, she had this inate ability to connect with people on a profound level. She had the rare gift of empathy, the capacity to truly understand the struggles and aspirations of each person she encountered. And she had a genuine care and concern that allowed her to transform lives and inspire hope in the hearts of many.”
Three other current members of council spoke – Teresa Durning, who won the byelection after Nahal’s death; Akbal Mund, and Brian Quiring, who served with Nahal the longest.
“We miss her terribly,” said the Hawaiian-shirt clad Quiring, joking how Nahal would have praised his wife for picking out such a great shirt. “It was a pleasure serving two terms with her. We became very close as her time grew shorter. She challenged me to make sure to continue the projects we started.”
Vernon Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu first met Nahal when she was working as a nurse at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, where she and the late councillor had many chats.
Sandhu encouraged residents to live how Nahal did.
“Be kind. Be good. We can all have different opinions and still respect each other and do the right thing,” she said. “Live your life to the fullest. Give generously. My dad used to tell me that often times, people in the distant circle will forget your name, but nobody will forget how you made them feel and what you did for them. Dalvir reminded us exactly that…Let’s keep her legacy alive.”
Part of Nahal’s legacy is the Bollywood Bang fundraiser, which took place Saturday, June 10, attended by more than 500 people and organized this year by her brother Ranvir.
“Did she ever inspire a lot of human beings, and that’s an incredible legacy to leave behind. She accomplished so much in her years,” said Nahal. “I’m so proud to be her brother and I got to tell her before her passing how proud I am of her. Our family is so grateful to everyone who came here today.”
The memorial plaque contains a quote from Greek politician Pericles: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments. But what is woven into the lives of others.”