Four-year-old Ethan Fritz waves at his dad with his mom Alyssa, from the end of White Rock Pier. Pilot TK Minzak – who flies reserve for the U.S. Air Force, organized the fly-by after months of not being able to see Ethan due to border restrictions during the pandemic. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Four-year-old Ethan Fritz waves at his dad with his mom Alyssa, from the end of White Rock Pier. Pilot TK Minzak – who flies reserve for the U.S. Air Force, organized the fly-by after months of not being able to see Ethan due to border restrictions during the pandemic. (Tracy Holmes photo)

PAN’s most-read stories of 2020 that didn’t involve COVID-19

While the virus dominated headlines, much more happened on the Peninsula

Without a doubt, COVID-19-related stories were by far the most read on the Peace Arch News website during the past calendar year.

Shared far and wide, the articles offered must-know information to Semiahmoo Peninsula residents.

However, sometimes lost among the headlines, were a number of heartwarming, unusual, or entertaining stories that caught the eye of PAN readers.

Instead of compiling a list of the most-read stories for 2020, PAN is sharing a list of the most-read stories that didn’t (directly) involve COVID-19 or tragedy.

‘Remarkable’ chain of events reunites decades-old wedding band with South surrey owner

A decades-old wedding band found squished in the middle of 0 Avenue, near Peace Arch Park, has been reunited with its owner.

And Jack Girvan says the story is one that effectively spanned more than 40 years.

“I was just absolutely stunned at the process,” Girvan said earlier this month, a few days after retrieving his ring from Kevin McAlpin.

U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by over White Rock pier for son amid border separation

It was a big day for South Surrey youngster Ethan Fritz – after months of separation due to the pandemic-related border restrictions, he got to see his daddy.

Well, sort of.

Four-year-old Ethan got an opportunity to wave to his dad from the end of the White Rock Pier while his father TK Minzak flew past in a U.S. Air Force transport plan.

Senior ‘hero’ showcases White Rock dogs in calendar to benefit SPCA

Harold Zelt may not be enjoying pandemic-related restrictions, but the White Rock senior has found a way to make the most of them.

For several months, Zelt has photographed dogs he meets while out and about in White Rock on his scooter. He used the images to create a calendar, with net proceeds from his ‘Dogs of White Rock 2021’ calendar donated to the SPCA.

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock Pier

A promoter who led a failed campaign to have a stuntman jump the White Rock Pier on a motorcycle is back with a new plan, and “this one ought to be a doozy.”

After experimenting with building small rockets using potassium nitrate and kitty litter, White Rock’s Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard with the goal of launching a man the distance of the pier into Semiahmoo Bay.

‘Heart and soul’ of White Rock Gymnastics to be recognized for volunteer effort

Tired of a career in the retail industry, Jenna McBain decided to apply for a job as a part-time receptionist at Langley Gymnastics, despite having no experience in the field or history with the sport.

Now the operations manager of White Rock Gymnastics, where she has worked for the past five years, McBain, an avid volunteer, was set to be honoured with a Presidents’ Award at this year’s 2020 Sport BC Awards.

Surrey seniors connect through storytelling on video

Decades ago, when Surrey senior Valerie Nielsen got the opportunity to emigrate and chose to leave England in search of a new life in Canada, she put her second choice – Australia – on her travel bucket list.

It took 55 years for the destination to reach the top of that list, but in early 2019, she finally got to the land down under.

It nearly killed her, but that’s another story – one anyone interested can now hear told by Nielsen herself.