Roadside sign remembers avid snowboarder

Family's persistence gets memorial at Sun Peaks

Bryn Taylor died too young. He was 24, with a girlfriend and a passion for snowboarding and living at Sun Peaks.

He and two friends went out for celebratory drinks after finishing a job and were driving home to Ashcroft in a truck that went off the road for no apparent reason.

Taylor and the friend who was driving were thrown from the truck and died.

That was Nov. 1, 2006.

Seven years later, on Nov. 2, 2013, his parents, Dick and Terry Taylor will remember their son with what they believe is the first roadside memorial sign in B.C.

The message on the sign, beside a ski-goggled bluebird: "Please don't drink and drive. In memory of Bryn Taylor."

Dick Taylor said Friday the idea for the sign came while he and his wife were travelling in the U.S. They noticed the memorial signs along highways in several places and thought it would be a good way to memorialize their son while reminding people to stay safe.

The government has a policy against allowing more signs along the roadside.

Terry Taylor said she called the Ministry of Transportation every six months. Despite her persistence, the policy has stood.

She still hopes it will change.

In the meantime, however, Sun Peaks became a resort municipality. So rather than putting a sign up on a provincial highway, the Taylors asked the mayor and council for a spot within the community their son loved and called home.

"That was his community. He was a big part of it. We felt it was a good fit, too. Hopefully it does go somewhere," she said.

"We wanted to do it within the first year of Bryn's death. So many new people up there who wouldn't have any connection."

That didn't happen, but the family did start up a Bluebird Day Fund at Sun Peaks that raises money for developing snowboarding and assists young snowboarders.

"It's a bluebird day" was one of Bryn Taylor's favourite sayings.

Hence the bluebird on the sign.

Terry Taylor is still hoping the ministry will eventually change its policy.

But for now, the couple is happy to unveil the sign that remembers their son.

"We thought even if one person turned around, it would save a life," said Dick Taylor.

The sign will be posted across from the mailboxes, near the fire hall.

Mayor Al Raine said he knew Bryn Taylor, as the young man worked for some time at Cahilty Lodge. The sign idea was welcomed by council.

"We felt it was a good idea so we supported it," he said.

"The family have done fundraisers and been pushing on the no drinking and driving message. It's not a bad message for our community. We have lots of young people who come for the winter. . . . We felt it was a good message."

Every year since Bryn Taylor's death, the family has held a fundraising ball on the first Saturday of November. The money goes to the Bluebird Day Fund.

Dick Taylor said his son would be right in there, partying, if he was still alive.

"I think he'd be pretty pleased with the legacy. He was a very giving person, kind of a wild and crazy guy, but he had friends from an amazing age range."

The unveiling of the sign is slated for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.

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