A young maple tree planted along a quiet creek in Chilliwack has been adopted by the family of Shaelene Keeler Bell in memory of her.
“I adopted this maple tree for you, Shae, so your boys, family, community and friends can come and honour you,” said Bell’s mother Alina Durham on July 15.
Bell, a 23-year-old Chilliwack mother of two young boys, went missing on Jan. 30 in Chilliwack and her body was found more than four months later in the Fraser River near Coquitlam on June 2.
Durham and other family members gathered on July 10, two days after what would have been Bell’s 24th birthday, to show her two young sons the tree which was planted two years ago on Luckakuck Creek Trail by the Rotary Club of Chilliwack.
“The maple tree is a symbol of strength and endurance. In China, the maple tree is associated with honour,” Durham said. “May the roots of this tree spread strong and grow deep. Your memory will live on as this tree blossoms and grows deep.”
Bell’s family purchased the red maple through the Rotary Club of Chilliwack and placed a memorial plaque at its base featuring a photo of Bell and her two boys.
Both the granite plaque and the engraving work were donated by Swinstones Granite Shop and Doug’s Key Mart & Locksmith Service, respectively.
Rotary gave the family a number of trees from which to choose and they felt Luckakuck Creek Trail was the “most peaceful setting,” Durham said.
“To have you, Shae, was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure,” she said.
The maple tree is located on Luckakuck Creek Trail along Luckakuck Creek. Park at the end of Luckakuck Place (off Luckakuck Way), walk towards the creek, turn right (west) and the tree is about 60 to 70 metres down the trail on the righthand side.