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Plane towing ‘thank you’ banner soars above White Rock’s Peace Arch Hospital

Gesture of appreciation for health-care workers made by Lower Mainland pub owner
A small plane pulling a banner thanking health-care workers flew above Peace Arch Hospital Monday. The aircraft, hired by New Westminster’s Gordon Cartwright, also flew over Royal Columbian Hospital. (Kristen Fryer photo)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane – it’s a thank you.

Or, two of the three, at least.

Monday evening (April 20), a plane pulling a banner that read ‘Thank You Healthcare Workers” took off from Pitt Meadows Airport and flew over both White Rock’s Peace Arch Hospital and Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

The plane was sponsored by Lower Mainland businessman Gordon Cartwright, owner of Woody’s Pub in Coquitlam.

Speaking with Peace Arch News earlier in the day Monday, Cartwright said he was inspired, in part, to send the message of thanks into the sky by his daughter, who is a nurse in the emergency department at Peace Arch Hospital.

“She works 10-12 hour days, six or seven days a week and hasn’t seen her kids in three weeks,” said Cartwright, who lives near Royal Columbian Hospital, where all of his children were born.

But it’s not just for her, he said. Rather it’s an acknowledgment of all the frontline care workers who are putting in long and difficult hours battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plane flew above Peace Arch Hospital at 7:20 p.m., shortly after the nightly 7 p.m. cheers for health care and frontline workers took place in cities across the region.

It’s a ritual that Cartwright and his neighbours near RCH participate in each evening, he said.

“Every night at 7 p.m., we go out and bang the drum and everything.”

Hospital staff are hearing and appreciating the tribute, he said, noting his daughter told him, “You are the people that encourage us.”

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to

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