Islanders excited by Dr. Bonnie Henry visit


Salt Spring Islanders were thrilled to spot provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry around town over the weekend, while respecting her need to enjoy some rest from her work leading British Columbia’s pandemic response.

“I’m not a person to be starstruck because I worked in television for years, but when I saw her a big smile came over my face,” said TJ Beans co-owner Tim O’Connor.

O’Connor said he saw Henry on her way into Salt Spring Natureworks. She put a mask on as she prepared to enter the store.

“She puts it on like everyone else; one ear at a time,” O’Connor reported.

Henry also visited Pod Contemporary shop and gallery on Saturday. 

“It was very exciting. She came in and she tried things on,” said owner Helen Mears. While Henry was in the changing room, Mears put on her button produced by the Salt Spring Arts Council. It features a portrait of Henry by local artist Patrick McCallum as well as her famous slogan, “Be kind. Be calm. Be safe.”

Mears explained the arts council’s program of sharing the buttons with local sponsors when Henry came out to make her purchases.

“I didn’t want to bug her because she was on holiday, but I also wanted to thank her,” Mears said. “There was a lot of buzz around town about her being here so it was a very exciting day.”

Suzanne Zacharias unfortunately missed Henry’s visit to her Cedar Mountain Studios shop, and her employee Serena Mellen didn’t recognize Henry with her mask on. She only found out because another customer let her know after Henry left the shop.

“It actually breaks my heart that I wasn’t there. If it wasn’t that I was out for lunch for my 60th birthday, I would have been there,” Zacharias said.

For more on this story, see the July 15, 2020 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

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