Today is the second annual In Memoriam Day in the City of Burlington, a day we honour and collectively mourn all those individuals from our community who have passed away in the last year.
As a population of almost 200,000 people, Burlington loses nearly 1,200 of our residents every year. Each one plays a valuable part in our city, contributing to the families, friendships, businesses and culture that makes Burlington so special.
Every loss is deeply felt by our community.
Burlington’s Annual “In Memoriam” Day was created to help recognize members of the community who have passed away in the previous year and provides an opportunity to grieve together and support one another through these losses.
The flags at City Hall and Burlington Fire stations will be lowered today and our Burlington Pier will be lit white in their honour.
Our losses in the past year included the tragic passing of young Keira Kagan on Feb. 9, 2020. Keira was born here in Burlington and spent the first few years of her life here, often exploring in her stroller with her mother Jennifer along Lakeshore and at Mapleview Mall, and eating frequently at our local restaurants. She was a cherished big sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend.
Our community also lost Panchal Mansaram who passed away at the age of 86 on Dec. 6, 2020. He was born in India and migrated to Canada in 1966 with his family, eventually making his home in Burlington.
He taught art in the Hamilton & Wentworth District School Board, with his house here in Burlington being a welcoming art studio. He was known as a visionary artist and produced a prolific amount of work that included photography, painting, prints, textile works and videos. His artwork can be found in museum collections around the world.
Last year, we lost many well-loved community members here in Burlington and friends and family around the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a loss that was also marked earlier this month on March 11 as our Prime Minister declared a national day of observance in alignment with the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic.
Every person in our community is deeply valued and leaves behind friends and family who loved them dearly. We share in that grief and extend our sincere condolences today. May they each rest in peace and be remembered often in our hearts.
The annual In Memoriam Day will continue to be held on the last Thursday of March each year.