Typically, a coronation is a celebration of crowning a sovereign, which translates to honouring someone of extreme high praise and respect. One might not consider a somber event such as a funeral to be categorized as a celebration. Not so for the family and friends of Norma Sylvia Campbell who passed peacefully on January 30th.
She was a beloved member of the community and the church, as well as cherished by people both far and wide. Her coronation was held at the Claude Galibois Centre on February 3rd at 2:00 pm. Viewing was offered the night before at New Life Assembly Church.
Pastor Doug Spinney clarified at the commencement, ?It will be clear to everyone why it is a coronation.?
The many speakers who came forward with messages of hope of a peaceful afterlife spoke to represent several denominations, united for this occasion. As well as Pastor Spinney, other members of the Tumbler Ridge Ministerial Association speaking were Pastors Bill Hendley. George Rowe and Ben Kostamo. Also speaking at the service were Bruce Taylor, Lorne Heron and Darren Lauder.
Perhaps one of the most composed people of all was Evangelical Minister Ken Campbell, husband of Norma. Even though understandably moved and grieving for his wife, he was also inspiring and joyous in the idea that she is happy where she is. Mr. Campbell introduced each member of the attending family and gave way to them reciting emails, poems and messages from kind family and friends. Pauline Hendley and Brian Sipe read tributes as well.
It was evident from her struggle with polio some fifty years ago and then her fight with cancer ten years ago, that she had much courage and strength and especially so in her beliefs. Recently out of remission, Norma was apprehensive about the upcoming treatments and Mr. Campbell said throughout the service, that she would prefer not to endure that. Just a few months ago, the Campbells celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary.
Parts of the coronation included piano accompaniment by Ruth Walkley welcomed the attendants as you entered the auditorium. The RCMP Honour Guard in formal dress, who had come in at the start of the ceremony and led the pallbearers and casket out of the auditorium. Pallbearers were David Campbell, Bill Hendley, Brian Sipe, Don Spratt, Jake Block and Gary Gurnsey. A very touching presentation, compiled by Don Spratt was a video slideshow set to music with pictures of Norma from early childhood to recent years. The Community Choir sang three songs;