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Second year without a vigil to mark Vernon Good Friday massacre

A family member lays a rose on the memorial stone outside the Vernon museum in commemoration of nine loved ones murdered in 1996. The mass murder has been dubbed Canada's second largest of its kind in history.
March 27, 2015 - 11:02 AM

VERNON – For the second year in a row, a vigil to remember the nine members of the Gakhal and Saran families who were murdered in Vernon on Good Friday in 1996 will not be held.

The families will be remembering their loss in private, according to a media release from the Vernon Women’s Transition House Society.

“In years past the Gakhal family, in collaboration with community service agencies in Vernon, have organized a vigil to commemorate the loss of these citizens to domestic violence,” Brooke McLardy with the society says in the release.

Last year was the first time the family members decided not to share their grief publicly.

On Good Friday in 1996, Mark Chahal went on a shooting rampage, killing his ex-wife Rajwar Gakhal and eight other members of the Gakhal and Saran families as they prepared for her wedding in the family home on Okanagan Avenue.

Chahal then drove to a local motel and killed himself.

McLardy has said she meets with the families each year to seek their guidance on whether or not to hold a pubic vigil. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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