Paul Dewar remembered as a different kind of politician

Paul Dewar's family, colleagues, and friends came to remember him at a reception at the Westboro church he attended.

Celebration of life scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Dominion-Chalmers United Church

Julia Sneyd, wife of Paul Dewar, hugs a friend at the community gathering in honour of her late husband. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

The late Paul Dewar was remembered for his empathy, service and ability to bring people together at a visitation service Friday.

The former Ottawa Centre NDP MP died on Feb. 6, almost a year after he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

The gathering was held at the church where Dewar attended services, as a member of the First United Church congregation.

Jen Pedersen, a former volunteer on Paul Dewar's NDP leadership campaign, contributes to a quilt at Dewar's memorial visitation. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Jen Pedersen, former NDP staffer

It's difficult for us to be missing [his] vision, that grace, that kindness — at a time when Canada really needs it.

He talked about the importance of all parties putting down their swords and their shields and working together. That was something that really resonated with me. We need more people like Paul.

Evelyn Gigantes, former Ontario NDP MPP, shares a story about Paul Dewar, who used to work in her constituency office. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Evelyn Gigantes, former Ontario NDP MPP

Paul is a long-time friend. I worked with him professionally. I have intense admiration for his soul and his way of bringing people together. He was a person who cared about people. He loved people. He was always doing his best for people.

Can Le, president of the board of directors of the Vietnamese-Canadian Centre, describes Paul Dewar as a long-time friend of his community and refugees around the world. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Can Le, Vietnamese-Canadian Centre

We remember Paul as a passionate politician, as a community activist. He was compassionate towards refugees around the world. He urged us to respect the earth. He urged us to live in harmony.

He has been a friend of the Vietnamese community for all these years.

Clive Doucet, former Ottawa city councillor, writes a message for the Dewar family at Friday's visitation. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Clive Doucet, former city councillor

I'd like him to be remembered as the kind of Canadian we'd all like to be. I think when you look at Canada from abroad you think of people like Paul: strong, generous, thoughtful. That's our image abroad and he incarnated it at home.

Amira Dewar remembers time at the cabin with her uncle and his message about helping others. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Amira Dewar, niece

Of course, I appreciate and value his political side. I've grown up in a political family and it is so important. I also remember him as my uncle and him just being the big friendly guy in the family too.

He summed it up well as playing a role in your community and being friendly toward your neighbours.