Hon. Salma Ataullahjan: Honourable senators, I too rise today to pay tribute to my good friend and Senate colleague, the late Tobias Enverga. My colleagues before me have very eloquently described Senator Enverga’s good work and achievements both in and out of this place.
In preparing to speak today, I struggled with how I can put into words something that would accurately capture his gentleness, his warmth, his positive attitude and, of course, the twinkle in his eye.
Tobias and I had many things in common. We carried on our shoulders the hopes and aspirations of our respective communities that looked to us for leadership and guidance. Tobias was a profound voice for the Filipino-Canadian community, and those of us who saw him interact with and reach out to his community saw the sense of pride that he felt.
This past weekend at his visitation and funeral, I watched hundreds of members of the Filipino-Canadian community come to pay their respects. I saw what many of us who have spent time at events with Tobias already knew — that he was well loved and respected.
We lost our friend and colleague, but we cannot forget that the Filipino community in this country has lost their voice and their champion here in the Senate of Canada.
His commitment to his community was outweighed only by his commitment to his family. To his wife, Rosemer, and their three daughters, Rystle, Reeza and Rocel, my deepest sympathies are with you.
Tobias, you are a gentleman of the old school, and there are few of those who remain. You left us far too soon, my friend. We will miss you. I will miss you. Rest in peace until we meet again.