Dr. Rey Pagtakhan honoured with park dedication
St. Vital Councillor Brian Mayes (left) unveils the park sign with honoree, Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. Also, in photo are from right: Former city councillor Mike Pagtakhan, MP Terry Duguid, Larry Vickar, and Mrs. Gloria Pagtakhan. Over 122 guests attended the park dedication, June 25.
by Lucille Nolasco-Garrido
Distinguished Filipino Canadian Dr. Rey Pagtakhan was honoured at a park dedication on June 25, for his many achievements and contributions benefitting various communities in Winnipeg and beyond.
The momentous event, which was delayed seven times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was held at St. Vital Park on 369 Beliveau Road.
It was spearheaded by St. Vital Councillor Brian Mayes, who said that the particular park was chosen because of the many years the Pagtakhan family spent in the area, as they were building a growing family and respective careers.
In attendance were about 122 special guests and well-wishers including former colleagues, government officials, friends, community leaders and members. Dr. Rey’s wife Gloria, as well as their children and grandchildren were also there to witness the significant event.
As special guests delivered their speeches and reminisced how Dr. Rey has helped and inspired them in different remarkable ways, Dr. Rey’s extraordinary abilities, intelligence and passion to give back and pay it forward were a recurring sentiment.
“His successes are magnified by his humility and zeal to place himself in advocacy for the well-being of all,” Michael Eze, a Professor of Chemistry from the University of Winnipeg said. “My community, ‘Umunna Igbo), therefore crowned him Chief OCHENDO (Protector of all persons) in May 2012.”
Perla Javate, President of the Philippine Heritage Council and long-time community leader, said: “Today is truly of momentous significance and a proud moment for the Philippine Community in Manitoba. Our community is now 63 years old with a population of about a 100 thousand Filipinos, and to finally have a park dedicated to one of our very own is a strong validation of our community.”
Larry Vickar of the Vickar Auto Group shared these remarks: “I’ve known Rey for the better part of five decades and over that time have admired him for his many accomplishments, first as a dedicated medical doctor and then a lifetime of numerous achievements … When I think of Dr. Rey, I think of an extremely proud Filipino Canadian with a bright mind, always inquisitive … a leader amongst men and women, daring to go to new frontiers to add value to humankind.” Citing a Hebrew saying, ‘Tikkun Olam,’ he said: “My friend, the world is better because of your influence.” And conveyed his appreciation for Dr. Rey's significant role in ANCOP.
For his part, Dr. Rey was visibly moved and expressed his profound gratitude to Councillor Mayes and to all present at the event.
“(Brian) you have conveyed the message that Winnipeg, and Canada for that matter, offer all of their people – citizens and immigrants alike – the opportunities for services to our common city and country.
I am deeply honoured and profoundly humbled. This is not within my dreams.
Once more, I thank you all for your gracious presence and generosity of thoughts.”
After the morning program, Dr. Rey happily posed for photos with everyone by the park sign now bearing his illustrious name: Parc Dr. Rey Pagtakhan Park.
Dr. Rey and Gloria with family
Dr. Rey with some of his former office staff members. L-r: Atty. Alona Mercado with Mercado Trinh Law LLP, Pilipino Express publisher/editor Emmie Joaquin, Micayla Ibarra, Dr. Rey, Gloria Pagtakhan, Michele Majul-Ibarra, HR officer at Canada Post, and lawyer Jamie Jurczak with Taylor McCaffrey LLP.
L-r: St. Vital MLA Jamie Moses, Pt. Douglas Councillor Vivian Santos, St. Vital Councillor Brian Mayes, Hon. Minister Jon Reyes, MP Terry Duguid, MP Rechie Valdez, Dr. Rey and Gloria, and Philippine Honorary Consul Ron Opina
Micayla Ibarra sings O Canada