Hon. Victor Oh: Honourable colleagues, today we come together to honour and to celebrate the memory of the late Honourable Tobias C. Enverga, Jr.
Tobias was a kind-hearted and generous man. His love of life was exceeded only by his love for his family and friends. Tobias was also a proud Canadian who served our country with fierce loyalty. His death is a great loss for Canada and for the many individuals whose lives he transformed, many of whom are members of the Filipino-Canadian community which he so proudly represented.
Tobias and I were good friends. I remember fondly that on late evenings at work, he would always come to my office so that the two of us could walk to our temporary home together. He would also rush me out of my office on days we travelled back home. He liked to make sure that we made it home, made it back to our respective families as soon as possible.
Likewise, I would always call him every early morning to make sure that he would wake up in time for breakfast. We liked to walk to the Hill together. We took care of each other that way.
It will be hard for all of us to forget the passionate way in which Tobias spoke about issues he cared deeply about.
On one of our last times together, I told him, “Tobias, I went to the Toronto Sunnybrook Hospital to fix my hearing aid.” He asked me, “What happened?” I told him, “Because you speak too loud in the Senate, I have to lower the volume on my hearing device.”
He laughed loudly and said, “Should I lower my voice?” I told him, “No, you should speak louder so that the other side of the house truly pays attention.”
There are so many moments like this one that I could share today, but none would convey the true essence of his character.
For me, it will take a long time to come to terms with the fact that Tobias will no longer be around, that we will no longer hear his voice throughout the chamber.
However, I know that all of us who love him and mourn his loss will continue to move forward, strengthened and comforted by the lasting memories we shared with him.
May you rest in eternal peace, my dear friend Tobias.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.