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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Harrow hosts vigil for individuals found deceased




by Sylene Argent, Local Journalism Initiative

Around 1000 individuals gathered at the Harrow Soccer Fields on Sunday evening to participate in a candlelight vigil and pay respects to the four individuals whose sudden passing last week shocked the community.

  The Essex Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) noted Officers were called to a residence on County Road 13 at approximately 1:30 p.m. on June 20, 2024, where they located four deceased individuals.

  Names of the individuals have not yet been released.

  Postmortem examinations are being conducted at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in London.

  Those in attendance brought gifts, offered warm words of commemoration, and took part in a tea light walk around the track onsite, paying their respects.

  Friends were able to share warm words of those individuals.

  Essex Mayor Sherry Bondy helped organize the event with fellow residents, giving the community an outlet to express their grief.

  A friend expressed there was an outpouring of support from individuals and businesses. She also noted Harrow Health Service is offering grief counselling services.

  “The generosity that we have seen in the wake of their deaths is a testament to the pillar that [these individuals were] in our small community,” she said. “There are truly no words to describe the impact that this is going to have on those of us who were privileged enough to know them and love them.”

  Darrow Woods, Pastor at Harrow United Church, said he has been a preacher for 35-years and never worked harder than on the words he prepared for the event.

  “We come here with broken hearts. We feel vulnerable and helpless. And we feel really, really sad,” he said, noting many “are trying to make sense of something that makes no sense.”

“When the worst things happen…we have to encourage each other to be our best selves,” Woods said. “We have to help each other. Every one of us needs to see there is still lots of good in this world. There are going to be moments when it is your job is to be the comforter, when someone is having a really hard moment…and then there are going to be times when you are the one who needs to be comforted.

  “We need to be signs of hope for each other,” he added.

  Members of the Rotary Club of Harrow collected donations from the community, which will help cover funeral costs.

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