The call came. The text message sent. The sad news posted in Facebook. Eddie Lee, publisher of the oldest monthly newspaper, Atin Ito, passed away.
Father. Husband. Brother. Community Advocate. Friend. Influencer. Disruptor.
Publisher, Atin ito, Past President, Philippine Chamber of Commerce-Toronto. Founder, Filipino Credit Union. Overall Chair Philippine Centennial in Canada
Eduardo Ibanez Lee was different things to many people. His list of accomplishments long.
When Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York centre reached out to ask about the local Filipino newspapers in the Greater Toronto Area. Eddie Lee and Atin Ito was first of mind – not only was I familiar with the newspaper but I knew the man behind the oldest running Filipino newspaper. It was a simple ceremony, much like the man and the publication being honoured. The celebration that followed turned out to be one I will remember. It was an eye-opening experience. I learned so much about the Philippines, the Filipino community in Canada, and the man that I have learned to respect.
From cradle to grave, wherever he was, Eddie Lee remained a Filipino citizen. This came as a surprise to me when he said, “you can have the vote of my wife and my support because I am a Filipino citizen.” After many years in Canada, his love for the motherland evident.
I can still recall the first time I met him. Unapologetic, confident, stubborn. committed. He was not the most popular person in the room – not everyone agreed with his point of view. He was a man who had conviction. When he believed in you, he was with you all the way. Now, I remember with fondness and much respect, the conversations, the stories, and the memories.
You will be missed but your legacy will live on. You have done so much for the country and the community that you loved, You can now rest in peace. Job well done!
By Michele Serrano