With deep regret we note the death of Milton Wong.
last modified 2012-01-30 17:33
Dr. Wong had honoured IERG by agreeing to become a member of our Advisory Board, and he met with us a number of times, giving us valuable advice and inspiration. He had been consistently supportive of the IERG during the time he was Chancellor of Simon Fraser University.
With deep regret we note the death of Milton Wong on Dec. 31st. 2011. Dr. Wong had honoured IERG by agreeing to become a member of our Advisory Board, and he met with us a number of times. Giving us valuable advice and inspiration. He had been consistently supportive of the IERG during the time he was Chancellor of Simon Fraser University. He brought to all his work a clear-minded realism and a passion for improving the imaginative lives of children and for the arts as enrichers of all our lives. We will miss his warmth and guidance, but will treasure the lessons he taught us.
Here is an obituary from the CBC that describes some small parts of Dr. Wong’s astonishing and exemplary life:
"Business leader and philanthropist Milton Wong, who grew up among eight siblings in Vancouver's Chinatown and later helped broker British Columbia's first modern-day land claims agreement, has died at age 72. His niece, Joanna Wong, says her uncle was surrounded by loved ones when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Saturday. She says her uncle brought optimism and curiosity to improving his community and the country.
"Uncle Milton grew up in Chinatown and it was really such a close-knit community that was so much about human relationships and finding ways to build a stronger community, get more sustainable, make people's lives better," she said. "[That] was such a part of the values of his family growing up and he brought that into our generation."
Dedication to cultural harmony
Wong was instrumental in helping to structure land claim and business partnerships for First Nations and also played a role in the Nisga'a Treaty in 1998. He served as chancellor of Simon Fraser University from 1999 to 2005 and raised money for organizations such as the BC Cancer Foundation, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Wong was named to the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia for his contributions to education and public service. "British Columbia has lost a great community and business leader with the passing of Milton Wong," said Premier Christy Clark. "His dedication to cultural harmony and education was inspiring, and his guidance and philanthropy will be sorely missed.
Compassion, leadership, humanity
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson called Wong "an outstanding Canadian and proud son of Vancouver who leaves behind a tremendous legacy of public service and social responsibility."
"Milton touched the lives of countless Vancouver residents and he will be remembered for his compassion, leadership and deep sense of humanity," Robertson said.
B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix said Wong enriched the province with his entrepreneurism and philanthropy.
"His contributions to B.C. and Canada are extraordinary," Dix said. "We have lost a great civic leader, a role model that exemplified the best of our city and province."
A memorial service will be held later this month for Wong, who is survived by his wife, three daughters and three grandchildren."