Dal Richards remembered by hundreds at memorial
Beloved band leader died New Year's Eve at 97
Hundreds of people filled downtown Vancouver's Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday to say farewell to a legend.
"I drove in from Abbotsford so I wanted to get here really, really early," said fan Pauline Buck. "I wanted to make sure I'd get in because I knew there would be a lot of people."
Vancouver's King of Swing, Dal Richards, died on Dec. 31, 2015 at the age of 97.
He had famously played 79 New Year's Eve concerts and along the way was honoured with the Order of Canada, the Order of B.C., the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and was an inductee of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame.
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Over the years, he hosted national radio and television shows, helped launch the careers of talented young musicians and played countless concerts.
At the public memorial the Dal Richards Orchestra played without its leader, while his old saxophone and clarinet were placed in front of a white wreath.
"He just was the king of swing ... just one of the greatest," said Jacqueline Watters, who attended the memorial.
"I think he left a great legacy of encouraging people to support local music no matter what," added Eddie Lam.