Mayor Bruce Banman offered this statement on the passing of former Abbotsford MLA and Matsqui mayor, Harry DeJong.
“With the recent passing of Harry DeJong, Abbotsford has lost a strong community leader and citizen who made a lasting mark on our city. During his time in office, Harry made a significant political and social contribution, helping to shape Abbotsford through his vision and commitment to public service. Following his departure from politics, Harry continued to serve our community as a volunteer, providing significant leadership and direction in his role as a director for AgriFair. His achievements will continue to inspire our community well into the future. On behalf of Abbotsford City Council, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Harry’s wife Ann and the members of their family.”
March 25, 1932 – February 6, 2014
Born in the Netherlands in 1932 DeJong immigrated to Canada with his family. They became farmers in the Abbotsford area.Dejong and his wife Ann were married in 1954 and began their life together on a dairy farm in Deroche.In the spring of 1962 they moved to Matsqui and continued dairy farming.
DeJong served on the church council and the Abbotsford Christian School Board as well as being a Director for the MSA General Hospital, the Matsqui Pool Association and the Matsqui Police Board. DeJong ran for political office serving as alderman (1971 – 1975) and Mayor (1975-1987) for the District of Matsqui. In 1987 he was elected MLA for the Social Credit Party.
He served in Victoria for several years including a position as Minister of Agriculture and Aquaculture. Following his retirement from politics he continued to contribute to the community in many ways: the Agri-Fair Association being one of his favourite organizations where he served as President for many years. In 2013 Harry was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to the community.
A memorial service to celebrate Harry’s life will be held, Thursday, February 13th at 2:00 p.m. at Gateway Community Christian Reformed Church, 2884 Gladys Ave, Abbotsford. Donations in memory of Harry may be made to: Food for the Hungry, FH Canada www.fhcanada.org or the Abbotsford Christian School Endowment Fund www.abbotsfordchristian.com.
to leave a personal message of condolence at the families online Obituary at
From Vancouver Sun obituary, Feb 8,9