An employee of the Canadian International College is hoping a memorial plaque will be returned to its home at Selkirk College’s Tenth Street Campus after she noticed it was missing last month.
“I was just down there looking for a Frisbee that was lost in the bush,” said Kim Barker. “It’s become pretty overgrown. I used to walk by it all the time because I work on campus and would just stop and have a moment.”
Barker hadn’t checked the plaque lately and when she was searching for her Frisbee she noticed it was missing.
“There is a little wooden base and the plaque was screwed on to it,” she said. “The base was there and the plaque has either rotted off or was removed.”
The memorial plaque was placed at the Tenth Street Campus in 1992 after a Japanese student named Shigeru drowned in Kootenay Lake near Lakeside Park.
“They were out in the water, standing fairly deep but not over their heads,” said Barker. “They were talking and laughing and he went under the water and never came back up.”
His friends thought he was joking but when he didn’t come back up they started screaming and panicking in Japanese.
“There was a doctor right on the beach but nobody knew what was going on,” said Barker.
Barker is the only remaining employee of the Canadian International College — which brought Japanese students to Nelson — and has taken special responsibility for the plaque.
She had replaced it a few years back after she noticed it wasn’t “looking nice.”
“I knew him personally. He wasn’t a friend, but I was working at the college while he was attending. Someone has to look after it. It just seems so rude that someone would take it,” said Barker.
If someone sees the plaque or finds it, it can be returned to the Tenth Street Campus’ main office.