Eric Armstrong says his sister, Alicia Armstrong-Pollard, was 32 years old when she was murdered by her spouse, Joseph Pollard Junior in 2017.
He says she left behind three children, Desire, Chloe, and Whyitt, her mother Barbara Pomerleau of Webbwood and her father Richard Armstrong of St. Catherines.
Every year since, he sets up a firework display on the day she died for the children, more so because he adds his sister also loved fireworks.
This is the first time the family has chosen to talk to the Moose about their devastating loss. Eric says it is a difficult time, but they want people to understand how that grief is as deep today as it was on the day, they lost her to violence.
“So, April 3rd when the sun goes down my family gathers to make a very sad, hard time just a little bit easier. It all started with my wife, Brenda, myself, and the children the first year after Alicia’s murder had passed and I was in such a bad place. To be honest, I would not want any human to feel what I felt — the failure and the loneliness for me not having Alicia in my life and the fact I introduced her to Joe Pollard Jr.
“When she needed me to show up, I was late for my own selfish reasons. If I would have left St. Catherines on the 1st of April like I was supposed to, this (her murder) would not have happened.
“So, dealing with these feelings for the first time was hard and thank God for my wife. She saw me – sad, angry, and the hate I was feeling for myself and Joe Jr.
“I was just about to get up to do something terrible and she jumped in bed, hugged me, and told me “it’s going to be okay, I’m here to go through this with you”. She just kept reminding me, I am not alone, and she was here beside me handling this as husband and wife, talking about all the stuff Alicia liked through her life including fireworks.”
Eric admits their early life was not easy with many addiction issues with their parents and a rough lifestyle. He does recall his sister seeing fireworks for the first time when they were kids on a beach.
“Hungry, cold, panhandling for change, I remember her reaction to seeing those fireworks. She loved them. We just sat watching them on the beach. We knew all we had were each other.
“In that moment with Brenda, I told her I wanted to start annual fireworks show for Alicia. I grabbed all the money I had and went out and bought the fireworks, wrapped the kids up and lit them up.”
Eric adds, he even held them through the pandemic refusing to lose this one tangible way of not only remembering his sister, but also honouring her memory.
Armstrong also extends a thank you to the Naughton business that provided the fireworks at a much-reduced price for the display, which will be held at dusk tonight.
Pollard Jr. was convicted of murder and is serving a 21-year sentence.
PHOTOS: Eric Armstrong with his nephew Whyitt picking up some of the fireworks they received for tonight’s show. Eric says on behalf of the children, thank you to the supplier in Naughton for providing great pricing on the fireworks for tonight’s display. Photos provided by Eric Armstrong
Eric Armstrong provided this photograph of Alicia Armstrong adding this is the last photo taken of his sister and her children, Whyitt, Chloe and Desire, just before she was murdered. Eric says Whyitt was just a newborn when his mother died, but he helps him remember his mother by spending time with him and sharing the many stories of his mom. Photos provided by Eric Armstrong. The community of Webbwood will see fireworks display this evening in memory of a local woman who was murdered six years ago.