Canada's first Asian-Canadian lieutenant-governor, David C. Lam, has died of prostate cancer at the age of 87.
Lam was British Columbia’s 25th lieutenant-governor from 1988-1995. He was also a noted philanthropist who funded many public projects that now bear his name and founded Vancouver's dragon boat festival.
A spokeswoman for the family said he died just after midnight, early Sunday morning.
Lam was born in Hong Kong and worked in the banking industry before immigrating to Vancouver with his family in 1967 and launching a successful career in real estate development.
Tung Chan, the former CEO of SUCCESS, a Chinese-Canadian group that helps all new immigrants, said Lam was a friend and hero to him, and he will be deeply missed.
“When he became LG, he showed the way to all of us, that you can maintain your cultural identity, you can continue to promote the good values of your heritage while maintaining and not compromising your Canadian-ness,” said Chan.
'He served with pride'
“On behalf of all British Columbians, I extend deepest condolences to the family and friends of David Lam,” Premier Gordon Campbell said in a statement issued by his office.
“He served with pride and distinction, and his vision of Canada included a place where immigrants would find refuge and opportunity. He contributed much to the fabric of British Columbia, and his generosity and kindness will never be forgotten.”
“Our province mourns the loss of a great British Columbian and a great Canadian.”
His family said a celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. PT. on Saturday at the Richmond Funeral Home, 8420 Cambie Rd., Richmond, B.C.