First Filipino-Canadian senator dies
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-Canadian Senator Tobias Enverga Jr died a sudden death on Thursday morning, November 16, his office said.
Born in Lucena, Quezon, in 1955, Enverga was the first Filipino-Canadian senator.
"It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we confirm the passing of the Honorable Senator Tobias C Enverga Jr, senator from Ontario," Enverga's office said in a statement.
His office said Enverga "passed away unexpectedly" on Thursday morning "with his beloved wife, Rosemer, by his side."
"Always a beacon of light and hope, Senator Enverga truly cherished the opportunity to serve the people of Canada and did so with great pride," his office said.
CBC News reported that Enverga died at 61 "during a parliamentary trip to Colombia."
In a statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to Enverga's wife Rosemer, their 3 daughters Rystle, Reeza, and Rocel, and the late senator's friends and colleagues.
"It was with sadness that I learned today of the death of Senator Tobias C Enverga Jr, the first Filipino-Canadian appointed to the Senate," Trudeau said.
Trudeau described Enverga as "a tireless advocate for the Filipino community and people with disabilities, and founder of the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation."
“As a senator, he continued to actively promote the values of multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusiveness. He was well respected by colleagues in both Houses of Parliament," the Canadian prime minister said.
We're mourning a member of our Parliamentary family. My sympathies to the family & friends of Tobias Enverga, who died suddenly this week. He was a dedicated Senator for Ontario, strong voice for the Filipino community, and a friend to so many on the Hill. May he rest in peace.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 16, 2017
Started as mailroom worker in Canada
An economics graduate from Letran in Manila, Enverga first worked in a Philippine bank. He then left the Philippines in 1981 and flew to Canada, where he started as a mailroom worker.
Enverga later took a course in information technology, among other things, to improve himself. Eventually he became a project manager at the Bank of Montreal, his workplace for more than 30 years.
The father of 3 children, he became a Canadian citizen in 1985.
Then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed him to the Canadian Senate in 2012.
After Enverga's death, George Furey, speaker of the Canadian Senate, said in a statement that "it is with great sadness" that he "learned of the sudden passing" of Enverga.
"Of his many contributions, Senator Enverga will be most remembered as a fierce advocate for persons with disabilities and a tireless champion for multiculturalism. He was respected by all of his colleagues for his kindness, his warm sense of humour and his unparalleled work ethic," Furey said.
"In every aspect of his parliamentary work, Senator Enverga was not shy about sharing his deep love for Canada. It has been a privilege to serve with him and I know he will be dearly missed by everyone in the Senate family," the speaker of the Canadian Senate added. – Rappler.com