Singaporean living in Canada organises memorial event for Lee Kuan Yew

Singaporean living in Canada organises memorial event for Lee Kuan Yew
Attendees at a memorial event for Mr Lee Kuan Yew organised by a Singaporean living in Vancouver.

SINGAPORE - A memorial event for Singapore's first prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew was held in downtown Vancouver, Canada for three hours on Sunday afternoon.

The event was organised by Ms Ciel Liu Bei, a Singaporean living in Vancouver. She had decided to organise the event on her own after realising there would be no official memorial event held in the Canadian city.

"After emailing (the) Singapore Consulate General in Canada and Vancouver Singapore Club, I found out neither would be holding a memorial event," Ms Liu said.

"I felt the need (to organise) an actual event for myself and others to pay our final respects to Mr Lee."

Ms Liu then created a Facebook event page and sent out invitations to more than 200 people. The event saw about 140 attendees even though only 78 people had confirmed their attendance on Facebook.

During the memorial event, videos on Mr Lee were screened along with reports regarding the last few days of mourning period in Singapore. There was also an observance of a minute's silence during the event.

The event gained attention from Chinese-language newspapers based in Canada and the US such as Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao Newspaper as well as World Journal.

Many had turned up from different parts of Vancouver and came bearing food and drinks for guests. Ms Liu said their gestures reminded her of Singapore's "heartwarming and friendly" spirit.

Though there was only one condolence book at the memorial event, Ms Liu said many had stayed in line with some waiting for as long as an hour, just to pen their messages.

Ms Liu said: "Everyone in the queue demonstrated great willingness and shared stories about the late Mr Lee with each other, which reminded me of similar scenes back home in Singapore."

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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