Friends, family clean up beach in honour of Ethiopia crash victim

About 40 people gathered at Point Pleasant Park on Saturday to honour the memory of Angela Rehhorn, a conservationist who died in a plane crash in Ethiopia in March.

Friends and families wore gloves, carried bags and headed out to Black Rock Beach to pick up trash.

"Angela really loved the environment and she was very passionate about that," said Paula Lagman, the event organizer and one of Rehhorn's best friends. "I think she'll be happy about this."

The Dalhousie University graduate from Ontario was one of 18 Canadians aboard the flight that crashed after taking off from Addis Ababa, taking the lives of all 157 on board. Danielle Moore, another former Dalhousie student, was also on the flight. 

'We feel very blessed'

Rehhorn was working at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre and had recently been accepted to join the Canadian Wildlife Federation's Canadian Conservation Corps.

The beach sweep took place two days before Earth Day and what would have been Rehhorn's 25th birthday.

Her parents were also at the event.

"We feel very blessed because there are so many people reaching out to us," said Joan Vincent, Rehorn's mother. "I can't deny that it's healing.

"We are still in the early grieving stages and sometimes it's hard to control things, so it's good that we could be here."

Keeping Rehhorn's memory alive

Vincent and her husband flew from Ontario to attend the event and spent the day before at some of Rehhorn's favourite places.

CBC/Aya Al-Hakim

"We were, of course, down [on] the waterfront and we were at Dalhousie and her old apartment and enjoying the weather, which was cool and rainy, but we know that Angela would tell us to suck it up and get on with it because that's what Halifax is about," Vincent said.

Vincent and the rest of the cleanup team were registered with the Great Nova Scotia Pick Me Up, which provided them with supplies.

"I think we are going to do this every year on her birthday. I think it's a good way of celebrating her," said Lagman.