A community activist and the mother of a teenage girl whose slaying rattled the country more than 20 years ago, has also died.
Suman Virk, the mother of Reena Virk, died at 58, a few days after what media reports are calling a choking incident over the weekend that left her unable to breathe.
Suman’s daughter Reena was 14 when she was murdered by a group of teens under the Craigflower Bridge on Nov. 14, 1997.
The family is requesting privacy and a private funeral service has been planned.
Reena’s death resonated with people around the world, and in the aftermath Suman and her husband Manjit became community activists in bullying awareness.
Manjit and Suman dedicated themselves to several causes, and across the province the Virk name has been affiliated with anti-violence and anti-bullying initiatives.
Ten years after Reena’s murder, Manjit recounted it in a book, Reena: A Father’s Story, with Suman’s support. It told of Reena’s upbringing and also included just how cruel the final moments of Reena’s life were.
On Nov. 14, 2017, dozens of community members stood in the rain and wind for a sobering hour of tribute and remembrance to Reena at the place of her death, Kosapsom Park.
It was there that Virk, then 14, was kicked, punched and eventually drowned in the Gorge Waterway below the old Craigflower Bridge.