Beckwith Park (Janice Mansfield)

The Quadra Village Community Centre’s Out of School Care Program went for a field trip last Tuesday, but when they got back to the centre, they were one boy short.

6-year-old Graham Ralph spent several hours in the care of Good Samaritans and Saanich Police before returning home.

Graham was one of 16 children on a field trip to Beckwith Park under the supervision of two camp leaders. The group left the park around 2:00 pm, but left Graham behind.

The leaders apparently both made matching head counts, but failed to cross-reference those counts with an attendance list.

As a result, Graham’s disappearance went unnoticed until approximately 4:00 pm. William Ralph, Graham’s father, then received a phone call asking if he’d picked up Graham.

William said the daycare then told him that his son was missing in the area of the Community Centre, a mistake they presumably made based on the incorrect head counts.

Luckily, Graham had approached a lady at the park after the group had left. He then played with her grandchildren until Saanich Police came to bring him home.

William contacted police, and by 5:00 pm he was reunited with his boy.

William called the miscounts “ludicrous” and says he’s still trying to contact the lady to thank her.

An Ongoing Struggle

Childcare can be difficult enough to find in Victoria, but even more of a challenge if trust in certain providers becomes undermined.

For William, that trust has certainly been shaken.

William has pulled Graham from the Out of School Care program and is currently paying out-of-pocket for private childcare.

In hopes of a more permanent solution, Ralph has set up a GoFundMe page.

The highlight of Graham’s day

He got to go for a drive in a police car and reuniting with his dad of course.

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