September 2nd marked the 30th anniversary of a tragic occurrence on Beaver Island. A fierce and un-forecasted storm hit the area in 1982, taking the lives of three young brothers – Kenny, Dennis and John Kenwabikise – who were out on the big lake, doing what they loved best, fishing.
To honor them and celebrate the memories held by their family and friends, a special memorial service was held at the point on Sept. 2, where the Emerald Isle passed out of the harbor, saluting with the boat whistle.
Speakers recalled happy memories, recited a poem, and read a portion of the “Fishers of men” Gospel. A wreath for the brothers was laid at the Memorial which honors all those from the Island community who have lost their lives on the Great Lakes.
The group then headed to the school, where a new plaque under the “memory trees” was unveiled. The trees represent the souls and memories that live in the hearts and mind of those who knew the Kenwabikise brothers who died on Sept. 2, 1982, and also their brother Jesse and two of his best friends (John Widmayer and Edward Maudrie) who were killed in a plane crash in September of 1999.
For more on the memorial service held on Labor Day weekend, see the Oct. issue of NorthernIslander.