Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 39th Parliament,
Volume 144, Issue 48

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

The Late Honourable Thomas Anthony Dohm, C.M., O.B.C., Q.C.

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to a great Canadian: The Honourable Thomas Anthony Dohm. Tom was a man who truly made a difference in many people’s lives. He took on so many vital roles and meant so much to me in my life. He was a boss, a mentor, a law partner and a father figure. I knew his modus operandi well and learned so much from him over the past 34 years. His passing on April 1 has left a huge void in my life. As we grieve our loss, we must also remember that we are celebrating and focusing on his life.

The life lessons that Tom imparted to me were important. He believed that all people were created equal and devoted much of his time to volunteer service. This was recognized when he was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2006. He took an active and varied leadership in the community, as a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, director of the Vancouver Civic Non-Partisan Association, Co-chair of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, and Honorary President of the Confratallenza Italo-Canadese Association. He served as President of the Vancouver Stock Exchange and spent 13 years as chair and member of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Board of Directors, and eight years as chair and member of the Board of Governors of the University of British Columbia.

Tom worked hard to help people achieve their dreams. He believed that one is richer for what one gives away. He was a generous benefactor to many associations internationally and in British Columbia, and he established several scholarships in Israel, Palestine, India, Capilano College, the University of B.C. and the University of Victoria, including a substantial scholarship for Aboriginal students and a bursary for disabled students.

Tom had an unwavering power of faith. Mr. Dohm was a practising Roman Catholic who worked hard for his church and, more importantly, followed the teaching of his faith.

Tom Dohm made a difference to many in his lifetime. The province of British Columbia was better served because he was there. The lives of so many people within B.C. were enriched because of his contributions. The most important life lesson he leaves with us is that one person can make a difference in this world. He changed people’s destinies, including my own. Today, I pay tribute to a boss, a mentor and a friend who helped me reach for the stars and realize my dreams.

I believe Dr. Seuss summed it up best: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”