Monday, January 14, 2013

Local News

Chilliwack Loses An Icon

Dorothy Kostrzewa dead at the age of 83

Staff/Voice file photo

 

n Friday, Dorothy Kostrzewa, long-time City of Chilliwack councillor, passed away at the Royal Columbian Hospital.

 

Kostrzewa was born in Canada as Dorothy Chung

, the youngest of eight children fathered by Chinese immigrant Dr. Chung Bing Kee. Dr. Kee had settled in Chilliwack in 1886, ran a general store and acted as a doctor (but unofficially due to that eraís Canadian sentiment against Chinese-Canadians).

Her family home was flooded during the 1948 flooding of the Fraser Valley, the second-largest on record for the Fraser River. She managed a raft while her brothers dove for fruits and vegetables in a submerged garden.

She took her husbandís surname, Kostrzewa, upon marriage. She was the accountant at Chilliwack General Hospital prior to entering municipal politics.

She first won election to Chilliwack council in 1969, becoming the first Chinese-Canadian woman elected to political office in Canada. Aside for a five-year break, she has served continuously since.

In 2002, Kostrzewa received a long-service award from the Union of BC Municipalities. At 32 years of service, she is the longest-serving active city councillor in British Columbia.

Kostrzewa helped form a committee that erected a statue in 2003 to commemorate Victoria Cross-winner James Cleland Richardson.

In 2006, she was named by Vancouver print media as one of the 100 Chinese-Canadians who made a difference in British Columbia.

The above information is courtesy of Wikipedia.

A Facebook page has been set up here for those who want to post condolences. There is no word on when or where the service will be at this point.

 

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