Friends, family members and colleagues of the 18 Canadians killed in Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash are sharing their grief and memories.
The Canadians are among 157 people from 35 countries who died after the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane bound for Nairobi crashed shortly following takeoff from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. All the Canadians have been identified. They are:
Pius Adesanmi, the Nigeria-born director of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies in Ottawa, was also a professor at the Ottawa school.
Edmonton resident Amina Ibrahim Odowa, 33, and her daughter Sofia Abdulkadir, 5. They were on their way to visit family. Odowa leaves behind two daughters, ages seven and three.
The Peel District School Board in Ontario said two of its students, Anushka, 13, and Ashka Dixit, 14, were among the dead, along with their parents, Kosha Vaidya, 37, and her husband Prerit Dixit, 45. Their grandparents, PannageshVaidya, 73, and Hansini Vaidya, 67, also died in the crash.
Derick Lwugi, 53, was an accountant from Calgary. Lwugi, who volunteered as an assistant pastor, sat on the board of the non-profit Abeingo Association Canada and founded the Kenyan Community in Calgary group. He leaves behind his wife Gladys Kivia, a domestic violence counsellor with the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, and three children, ages 17, 19 and 20.
Danielle Moore, 24, grew up in Toronto and worked in Winnipeg at the charity Canada Learning Code. She was described by family and friends as an activist who raised her voice for Indigenous rights, climate change, food security and the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition. Moore was among a group headed to a United Nations Environment Assembly. She was also a recent Dalhousie University grad.
Friends of another young environmentalist, Micah Messent from Vancouver Island, are mourning his death. CBC News spoke to his family, who acknowledged the reports, but said they did not want to comment. Messent was heading to the same UN conference, which he posted about on his Instagram the day before the crash.
The Canadian Wildlife Federation posted on its Facebook page that CWF Canadian Conservation Corps participant Angela Rehhorn was also heading to the UN Environment Assembly. “Being selected to attend this UN Assembly is a testament to the tremendous contributions and value Angela and her fellow CCC cohorts bring to the future of conservation,” said Rick Bates, CWF CEO in the post.
Peter deMarsh of Taymouth, N.B., was chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance and of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners. “Our circle was broken today with the sudden tragic loss of my beloved brother Peter on the Ethiopian Airlines crash this morning,” his sister, Helen deMarsh, wrote on Facebook.
A spokesperson for the UN High Commission for Refugees said Canadian-born Jessica Hyba joined the organization in Iraq in 2013 and had also worked at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva. She had recently been appointed senior external relations officer based in Mogadishu and was “eager to get back to the field and working with refugees again,” Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams said. Hyba, 43, was from Ottawa, but had lived overseas for years. She leaves behind two daughters, aged nine and 12.
The death of Darcy Belanger was confirmed by Parvati.org, where he was one of its founding members and director of strategic initiatives. The non-profit organization, which describes itself as being dedicated to healthy planet, called Belanger “a hero in every sense of the word,” in a post dedicated to his memory on their website. He, too, was heading to the UN Environment Assembly.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Stéphanie Lacroix was living in Ottawa and working with the United Nations Association in Canada as a project officer with the association’s Canada Service Corps. She was also a board member of the African Community Fund for Education Canada and previously volunteered with Free the Children.
Dawn Tanner was a 47-year-old Hamilton-area teacher. In an emotional Facebook post, Cody French described his mother as an “extraordinary woman” and said her family is proud she dedicated her life to helping the vulnerable.
A death announcement posted to a Facebook page affiliated with the Ismaili Muslim community identified Ameen Ismail Noormohamed, 72, with ties to the Toronto area as one of the victims.
Nine-month-old Rubi Pauls was travelling to Kenya with her family to meet her grandfather for the first time. Her 34-year-old mother, seven-year-old brother, four-year-old sister and 60-year-old grandmother were on the flight with her. Rubi was the only Canadian citizen in the family. Her grandfather, Quindos Karanja, said the family was on its way back to Kenya from Ontario to visit him for Easter.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent condolences via Twitter to the families. The government also provided a phone number for Canadians in Ethiopia to call for consular assistance.