Across the Elk Valley, mine workers will wear a sticker on their hardhats in memory of a much-loved colleague.
Bradley Patrick Tipper lived and breathed mining, and had recently secured his mine rescue certificate.
The 24-year-old was fulfilling a dream of working as a fourth-generation miner at Elkview Operations in Sparwood when his life was tragically cut short two weeks ago.
Bradley was living at Ponderosa Manor apartments in Sparwood Heights, where a fire broke out about 9:30 p.m. on August 9.
The blaze quickly consumed Block B and Bradley is believed to have succumbed to smoke and heat while trying to flee his apartment.
He has been remembered as a gentle-hearted and generous man who was dedicated to his family, friends and community.
On Saturday, about 650 people attended a celebration of Bradley’s life in his hometown of Kimberley, B.C., where commemorative stickers featuring a hardhat and the word “family” were handed out.
Mom Vickie said the image held special significance for the mining family, engraved on her father’s headstone and tattooed on Bradley’s side.
“Family meant everything to him, whether it was the four of us or his friends that he was really connected to,” she told The Free Press.
A memorial has been erected outside Block B of Ponderosa Manor, which remains fenced off and guarded by security as an investigation into the fire continues.
Attached to the fence are notes, flowers and memorabilia, including cans of Budweiser and Colts cigars, left by friends, family and colleagues mourning the loss of the young man.
“Love you Bradley. I can’t ever explain how much I’m going to miss you,” reads one note signed Corey.
“BFT, thank you for all that you did for me. You were there for me when I needed you most. Thanks for always being yourself and for improving everyone’s life that you touched. Love you forever,” wrote Tim.
Another note reads: “The crew will never be the same without you. You will always be with us in spirit and this family will always remember our man, myth and legend BFT. With everlasting love from the Lou’s crew family.”
Bradley was an avid sports enthusiast and very involved in the community, from coaching school sports to being the first to support friends and those in need.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Battle of the Bats Slopitch Tournament & Fundraiser and Canadian Mental Health Association.
Condolences for the family can be offered at Mcphersonfh.com.