He would have been so proud

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Perry has now spent 91 days in jail – for stepping up to the plate to protect children, and then daring to say he has lost faith in the justice system. This is the institutional response to allegations of childhood sexual abuse.



Hearings resume at 1300 hours tomorrow, Tuesday 20 May 2008.  Perry and Helen’s 19th wedding anniversary!

I have a bit to blog on Friday’s testimony re ex-priest and paedophile Richard Hickerson.  Will get that up later.  For now I want to fill you in on Heather’s grad.

Heather, you will recall, is the Dunlop’s middle daughter, the one who got 100% for her Grade 12 law class essay: “The law is a ass.”

Grad without her Dad

Heather’s grad BBQ I referenced a few days ago was a great success.   57 young people.  As Helen said, “Great kids, every last one of them. So energetic, happy and full of life. It was wonderful to see! Heather was in heaven with all her buddies clucking around the yard!!”

The teens did most of the organizing, the decorating and the cooking.  One even spent 2 days in advance cutting and raking the lawn, pulling weeds, setting up the coolers, BBQ and chairs!

The gang arrived.  Cars were emblazoned with “Free Perry Dunlop” bumper stickers on their back windshields! Some had them on their side windows too!

The following morning a couple of thoughtful young souls came back to help Helen clean up.  They know there is no Perry to do yard work at the Dunlop house.  Over they went.  A big help for Helen.  They wouldn’t take a penny.

It was Grad day.

Before the day started, Helen gave Heather a card and letter Perry had sent. It had arrived just in time. It was, of necessity, written in pencil.  Helen said it was better than a gift of gold to Heather. She cried when she read it and said she would keep it forever, even the envelope it came in!

The wife of one of Perry’s good friends gave Helen a gift of hair do, makeup and pedicure.  While Heather was in the cosmetician’s chair, Perry was able to get a call through to her.

Tears. On both ends of the phone

When Helen stopped by to pick Heather up she could see there had been tears.  Hugs.  “Don’t worry mom, I’ll be OK.”

Make-up had to be re-done.

A huge limousine picked up Heather and her friends.  They were whisked off to the ocean beach front at the mountain base for pictures.

The weather was beautiful.  “Typical warm Cowichan valley weather with a steady breeze.”

Good friends of the Dunlops came up from Victoria especially to see Heather and pay tribute to her achievements and wish her well.

Many of Heather’s friends parents came up to Helen to express their sadness that Perry was not there.

I am told Heather looked beautiful.  A simple yet elegant magenta coloured sheath, with just enough iridescent beadwork on the shoulder straps to make it special.

“She looked so beautiful” said Helen.  “”All grown up, full of confidence and poise. I couldn’t have been more proud. She’s not a baby anymore!”

Family, friends and the curious lined the entrance to the community centre to watch the grads walk the red carpet.  Much cheering and many pictures.  Amidst the throng was Monica (Bird) –  official yearbook photographer for the grand event :).

Helen will relate ever moment and glorious detail to Perry. There will be pictures dispatched to the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre.

It won’t be the same.  It will never be the same.  But, belated though it is, as much as is humanly possible Perry will have a front row seat at Heather’s grad.   “He would have been such a proud Poppa.”

There is no doubt in Helen’s mind that while he was not there in person Perry was there with Heather in spirit:  “She felt it, I felt and I know Perry did too.”

Indeed he was.  Heather was never an inch from Perry’s thoughts and heart on Saturday. Not an inch. He was there in spirit.

And, yes as Helen says, life goes on….

The man who is in jail because he first stepped up to the plate to protect children and then, fifteen years later dared to say he has lost faith in the justice system, will treasure every word, detail and picture of his daughter’s grad.

Congratulations Heather!  Your Mom and Dad are so very very proud.

Enough for now



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