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DusangBy BERNIE BELLAN  I had the unhappy privilege last week of being able to sit down with Bonnie Bricker , whose son Reid disappeared after having been released from the Health Sciences Centre Emergency Department in the middle of the night on October 24th.


My story about my interview with Bonnie appears on page 1. During the course of speaking with Bonnie I mentioned to her that, over the years, stories of sudden loss within our community resonate more than any other stories. I recited  the names of several individuals, all of whom either died suddenly  - in car accidents, for instance, as in the cases of Phil Katz and David Dusang (who grew up in Winnipeg), or as the result of an illness that befell them quickly and prematurely, as in the case of Richard Tapper.
I said to Bonnie that, in each of those cases, when I would post a story on our website about that individual’s passing, it would receive a tremendous number of “hits” – more than a story of any other type. Years ago, when the young Winnipegger Fern Rykiss, who was only 17, was killed in Israel as the result of a terrorist attack on a bus (in 1989), that story, too, resonated with readers like nothing else. Of course, that was during a pre-internet and Facebook era, when newspapers were much more important in serving as a community forum.
On Tuesday, December 15, I posted something on The Jewish Post and News Facebook page about my having interviewed Bonnie Bricker about the healing service that will be held in memory of Reid Bricker on January 10. Within minutes that posting had been seen by hundreds of people and the video that I posted of my interview with Bonnie was subsequently also viewed by hundreds of people.
I’m sure that not very many of those people knew Reid Bricker, but the tremendous courage that Bonnie Bricker has shown in speaking publicly about Reid’s problems and the difficulties that the family had in dealing with what is often a confounding health care system surely resonated with a tremendous number of individuals.
If this paper can continue to serve as a sounding board for individuals such as Bonnie Bricker and a forum for information that you are not likely to find anywhere else, we will continue to work toward providing that service, even while some Jewish organizations think that newspapers are passé and that their websites are all they really need to maintain in order to inform the public of what they’re doing.