“Gabriola was their sanctuary”

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, July 4 2017

RCMP have released the name of Sarah Schultz, who identified as Sera Hunt, as the 25-year-old person who died on Saturday, June 24, in a cycling accident at the Gabriola ferry terminal.

Sera died after riding a bicycle down Ferry Hill and colliding with a concrete barrier and a parked car inside the ferry area. 

Sera’s friends Jack Bones and Roger Carter spoke to the Sounder this past weekend, describing Sera as kind, compassionate, and having a love for Gabriola.

Roger said Sera was “the kindest and most honest person that I have ever met. Very compassionate, absolutely loved Gabriola, this was the place they aspired to live, this was their dream.”

Jack added, “They called Gabriola their sanctuary.”

Roger said the past week has shown there were a lot of people who knew Sera on Gabriola.

“Sera cast a wide impression here in a very short amount of time.”

Jack explained that Sera lived on Gabriola through last year, but had to move to Nanaimo about two and a half months ago because there was no place to live.

During those two months, Sera found a place to park their caravan, and had only been back living on Gabriola for two weeks before the accident.

Jack said, “They loved their job at The Kitchen; that place has been excellent since it [the accident] happened. Aaron [Pope] has been really good.”

As news came out in the community of the accident and Sera’s death, flowers were dropped off at the door of The Kitchen, and tributes to Sera were written in chalk all over the concrete barriers at the ferry terminal.

Jack said one of the last things they did together with Sera was go down to World Ocean’s Day at Descanso Regional Park.

“They got so excited to volunteer next year.”

Oceans and marine life were a passion for Sera, according to Jack.

“You couldn’t go to the beach without them talking about the hydro-vascular system of starfish.”

Sera was originally from Nanaimo, and spent about a year up in Courtenay before moving to Gabriola. Sera’s mother and brother live on Vancouver Island.

Another passion for Sera was music; Jack said Sera loved the band the Gorillaz, and had tickets to see the band in Seattle this fall.

“They loved farming. We both worked on a sheep and pig farm last year, they found their true calling. They started raising ducks.”

When Sera had to move to Nanaimo, another Gabriola couple took care of Sera’s ducks.

Jack said Sera was one of those people that when you met them, you knew them.

“There was no subterfuge, everything was right there. Their capacity for feeling was so large it was intimidating. 

“I’m fairly emotional, and I got scared, there was so much love and honesty there.”

Sera was a big believer in fairness, equality and inclusion.

Jack said Sera was one to work on educating and open discussions.

“Even when they were passionate and arguing with something - they weren’t fighting. 

“Sera was trying to educate, and open up dialogue.”

Roger said, “Sera was always trying to understand other people’s views, they were very empathetic.”

Roger said the support from the Gabriola community for Sera’s friends and family has been overflowing.

“It’s a small town - we’ve been getting cards from people we don’t know.”

Jack said the online inboxes are full.

“I can’t touch them yet. Every time I read one it reaffirms the loss, so not yet.”

Jack said Sera was an organ donor. Sera’s liver has already been transplanted into a young boy. Four other persons will receive organs from Sera.

“Sera has given back.”

Sera will be buried in the Gabriola cemetery, in a private ceremony.

Those wishing to make a donation in Sera’s name are asked to donate to the Gabriola Health Care Foundation.

RCMP have spoken to some witnesses of the accident, but encourage anyone else who may have witnessed something to come forward. Those with information can call the Gabriola RCMP non-emergency line at 250-247-8333.