Mount Royal University social work graduate Christine Archibald died in last weekend’s London terrorist attack and the community is mourning.
Archibald and her fiance Tyler Ferguson, originally from Calgary, were on the London Bridge on Saturday, June 3 when she was struck by a van. Archibald died in Ferguson’s arms.
Three attackers abandoned their van and fled to the nearby Borough Market armed with knives and, reportedly, a machete. The assailants killed seven people and reportedly injured 48 more, some of whom are still in critical condition. London police arrived on the scene within minutes and eventually shot and killed the three men.
Archibald was born in Vancouver and graduated from Mount Royal University with a diploma in social work in 2015. She went on to work at the Calgary Alpha House.
Mount Royal social work assistant professor Peter Choate feels for Archibald’s family and her fiance.
“You have this unexplained, random, brief moment where you go from having your daughter to not having your daughter. Those are the sort of life-changing moments for families that you don’t step back from,” he said on June 5.
While grief is certainly profound for her family, Choate also mentioned that the social work community will be grieving for their loss as well.
Mount Royal University President David Docherty said in a statement that “Christine Archibald was a truly outstanding student who completed her coursework at Mount Royal in 2014 and officially received her Social Work diploma in 2015. Our deepest condolences go to her family and loved ones, as well as to members of our community who are grieving her loss.”
The family issued a statement about the death of their daughter, expressing that the best way to remember her is by improving the community she worked in and loved.
“Please honour her by making your community a better place,” the statement says. “Volunteer your time and labour or donate to a homeless shelter. Tell them Chrissy sent you.”
People have since sparked the hashtag #ChrissySentMe on Twitter to share what they’ll be doing in their community to remember Archibald’s work with people coping with addictions. Many people are donating to the Alpha House where she worked, or to other charities and non-profits like food banks. “Please honour her by making your community a better place. Volunteer your time and labour or donate to a homeless shelter. Tell them Chrissy sent you.” – Archibald’s family
Choate says it’s a testament to how people should deal with this kind of loss.
“As a society, this kind of complex trauma and grief is something we should be talking about. That’s important so that we don’t become paralyzed by fear but rather become compassionate through grief.”
London police have identified three individuals believed to be involved in the recent attack.
Update: A friend of Archibald and Ferguson started a GoFundMe campaign for people do donate in support of giving back in Archibald’s name. In the past 24 hours, $14,600 has been raised for the Calgary Alpha House and United Way in Archibald’s name.
Editor: Ian Tennant | firstname.lastname@example.org
A previous version of this article mispelled Peter Choate’s last name. We apologize for the error.