Some people leave a mark that lingers long after their passing.
“Flying” Phil St. Luke is one of those people.
He passed on in January, but people aren’t ready to stop seeing his friendly face around town just yet.
The ever-positive and caring community leader was one of a kind, and the Parksville community is collecting donations to commemorate Flying Phil’s life with a statue “to keep his magic alive a while longer.”
Phil St. Luke lived life with an openness that’s rare to see in today’s day and age.
“I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t care what I do, as long as I go out there every day and do my best,” he once said.
His “best” definitely stood out from the crowd and made an impact on all those around him.
Like many other thoughtful community members, he put thousands of hours into charity in the community, but the way he moved through the world had the biggest impact.
“Rarely has an individual evoked so much joy in the community simply from having their presence and positivity on display,” said Parksville city councillor Adam Fras.
The Facebook Group Flying Phil Fanclub is a beautiful display of how he touched so many people with something as simple as a big smile or an energetic hello.
“I honestly believe that there is not one of us Parksvillians that doesn’t have a story or a fond moment/ moments with Phil…” said one commenter on the group.
“He loved living here, and that’s why he was an ambassador for Parksville. He said: ‘These are all my friends, this is all my family, and this is everything,’ and he was so boisterous about that,” Mayor Doug O’Brien told CHECK News.
One Facebook user explained that having a statue would remind him of who Phil was and what he meant to everyone.
“..something to commemorate what a true honour it was to have such a beautiful soul amongst us. He was the heart of our community.”
More fundraising initiatives will be coming over the summer to make this happen, but there are other ways to keep his spirit in town.
As one Phil’s fan club member put it, “Let’s all be Parksville ambassadors the way he was. Smile, say hello, be kind and show our Oceanside pride.”
A community memorial celebration for Flying Phil is happening on June 9 at the outdoor theatre in Parksville Community Park.
A huge turnout is expected; you can find more details as they come out here.
Fly high, Phil.