I rise today to pay tribute to London West constituent Vijay Bhatia, a veteran London taxi driver whose life was brutally taken on April 29.
Vijay was a 64-year-old grandfather and father of four who is lovingly remembered as a family man with a big heart; a man of peace who always had a smile on his face; a gentleman who exemplified what it means to be a good person and a caring citizen.
Vijay’s roots in our community are deep. Born in India, he immigrated to London and began a long career in the taxi industry. He was a dedicated husband and father who worked hard to support his family and put his children through university.
Since his passing, I have heard stories about his eagerness to plan family trips, the advice he gave to his children to put family and friends over money, his generosity to young people making their way in the world, and his friendliness to the passengers he drove in his cab.
Earlier this month, over 500 people attended Vijay’s funeral, and another 100 participated in a memorial walk and vigil, including taxi drivers from as far away as Guelph, Mississauga and Toronto, demonstrating how many people Vijay touched and helped in a life that was so senselessly and tragically cut short.
On behalf of all MPPs, I wish to express our sincere condolences to Vijay’s family, friends and colleagues. He will be greatly missed, but his spirit and decency live on.