First of three funerals for fire victims held in Cardigan Wednesday

Steve Sharratt
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CARDIGAN — The dappled sunshine peaked through the church windows here like a stairway to heaven as respects were paid Wednesday to a teenaged man who perished in a tragic fire last weekend.

“Life is not black and white…. we all walk with risk,’’ said Father Maurice Praught during the service at All Saints Catholic Church. “And anyone of us can meet with tragedy.”

The streets were lined for almost half a kilometre and the heritage church was packed, on both levels, with hundreds and hundreds of mourners for the funeral for 15-year-old Brandon MacKinnon, one of three teens who perished in a fire last weekend.

However, the church embraced the loss of all three boys and recognized that along with Brandon, 19-year-old Joey Reeves and 15-year-old Kenneth Irving also died in the fire in Charlottetown last Saturday. A fourth teen is recovering at a Halifax hospital.

“We need to wrap our love around the families of all these boys and give them strength,’’ said Father John Lacey.

The April sunshine streaming through the stained glass windows carried a spring like air as mourners were welcomed as a crowd of “many faiths” gathered to share support.

Brandon’s favourite song was “Carry on my wayward Son” by the rock group Kansas, and the priests noted it contained “surely heaven waits for you” in the lyric.

“You know, in my job, I’m often conducting weddings or funerals,” said Father Praught.

“And I recall at so many receptions how the young men gather to tell stories on each other about the capers they would do when they were younger. I’m sure this would have been the case for these three young people had tragedy not intervened.”

The priests said while death is always tragic when it claims a young person, it is overwhelmingly tragic when it takes three. He said it was not a time of judgment, but a time to cloak the families with love.

“Brandon was a bright guy in school I’ve been told and he was charismatic and goofy almost ... he loved life and he will be missed. But we know his spirit will live within all of us.”

The funeral for Joey Reeves will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Church of Christ in Montague and the funeral for Kenneth Irving will be held at the Logan Ferguson Funeral Home in Montague on Saturday at 2 p.m. with visiting hours Friday from 3-7 p.m.

Organizations: All Saints Catholic Church, Halifax hospital, Logan Ferguson Funeral Home

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Montague, Kansas

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