It was a perfect winter’s night on Jan. 14 in Fort St. James.
The snow danced onto the ice as people made their way onto the candlelit ice oval in memory of a man who too loved the ice, loved coaching and loved his town and the people of Fort St. James.
The 5th Annual Community Memorial Candlelight Skate was held in memory of Randy Sulyma.
Every year, his wife Sandra and children Joel and Emily continue to invite the community to light a candle, skate and have fun in memory of the man who was tragically taken from them on Jan. 14, 2011.
“It was such a special event that was organized by members of the community the first time, but we as a family have decided to keep it going ever since,” Sandra said.
Randy Sulyma was heading to Fort St. John for a speed-skating competition five years ago. While driving on Highway 97 near Chetwynd, icy road conditions caused him to lose control of his truck. He was 43.
Sulyma was an invaluable member of the community of Fort St. James who loved coaching soccer and speed-skating.
“This is especially significant this year because there is an open 5,000 metre speed-skate memorial race being held in his name on Jan. 17 in Fort St. John,” Sandra said.
Randy’s memory continues to live and this was certainly true as the Memorial Skate brought people young and old onto the ice.
“We never know how many people are going to come out but they always do. We invite people to bring a candle and remember any loved ones who they may have lost also,” Sandra said.
Musical favorites were played in the background, a fire was lit, and candles flickered as everyone skated and remembered.