Vigils will be held Friday evening in Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton to pay tribute to the life of physician Walter Reynolds.
The 45-year-old father of two young girls died Monday after he was attacked in an examination room in a Red Deer walk-in clinic.
His patient, 54-year-old Deng Mabiour, is charged with first-degree murder. He allegedly used a hammer and a machete in the attack.
Mabiour was arrested at the scene and remains in custody after making his first court appearance in Red Deer Wednesday.
The Village Mall clinic remains closed, with an ever-growing tribute building on a patch of grass outside the facility.
Reynolds was part of the Red Deer Primary Care Network. The network is organizing the central Alberta vigil.
"Well, I know one of his partners in the clinic is going to be talking about him," Dr. Peter Bouch said. "I think there's going to be some prayers said as well. I think that the majority of family physicians in town are going to be there as well."
Bouch was not sure if Reynolds's widow would be in attendance, but he said the family has been moved by the reaction to his death.
"The outpouring from really across the country has been remarkable," Bouch said. "I think it shows that people really care. This is a very shocking thing that happened and a thing that's quite uncommon, but I think the outpouring of money, love, and emotion has been very reassuring for the family."
In a statement Friday morning, Dr. Reynolds's wife thanked the community.
"The girls and I would like to thank the community for their outpouring of support for our great loss. We ask for privacy during this tragic time," wrote Anelia Reynolds.
Vigil locations, other details
Red Deer: The vigil will be in the garden in front of city hall, starting at 7 p.m.
The Red Deer Primary Care Network has launched a ribbon campaign to honour Reynolds. Ribbons in the network's colours of green and blue will be handed out to vigil attendees.
The girls and I would like to thank the community for their outpouring of support for our great loss. - Alenia Reynolds, Dr. Walter Reynolds's wife
A table will be set up in front of city hall so people can leave cards or flowers. Organizers encourage people to wear masks, bring sanitizer, bring an LED candle and to observe physical distancing.
Among the nine speakers scheduled to speak is Jonine Mostert, Reynolds' sister-in-law.
Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer will also speak at the memorial.
Attendance will be limited to the first 200 people, because of COVID-19 concerns.
Edmonton: An outdoor silent candle vigil will be held outside city hall, starting at 7 p.m.
The vigil is being organized by the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association. Due to the pandemic, the crowd will be limited to the first 200 attendees.
Calgary: Physicians will hold a vigil at 7 p.m. at Central Memorial Park near the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre.
Doctors attending the vigils are encouraged to dress in white and to wear lab coats.
'Lived life to the fullest'
The fundraising campaign launched by Red Deer physician Dr. Johan Myburgh has now raised more than $200,000 that will be put toward the education of Reynolds's two young daughters.
Myburgh said his friend moved from South Africa to Canada in 2003 with his wife Anelia. After spending three years in Manitoba, they moved to Red Deer in 2006.
"He was sharp-witted, a devoted husband, and an amazing dad for his two beautiful young daughters," Myburgh wrote in a statement. "He was passionate in life. If there was a race to run, then he was there ... with this same energy and dedication Walter put into life, he gave to each of his patients.
"We all lost a person who lived life to the fullest."
Bouch also moved to Canada from South Africa.
"We all moved to Canada for a more peaceful life, especially for our children," Bouch said. "This just goes to reassure us that we made the right move. That Canada is a great country and people do really care."