A Tribute to a Hero: “You will always be part of Tamil Canadian History”

Captain Agustus (Gus) Dalton (1930 – 2018)

The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) and the Canadian Tamil community is profoundly saddened by the loss of Captain Augustus (Gus) Dalton. On behalf of the entire Tamil Canadian community, we express our deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

Captain Gus Dalton truly embodied the virtues of what it means to be a Canadian: kindness, compassion and selflessness. These heroic qualities drove Captain Dalton into action on August 11, 1986 when he discovered 155 men, women, and children drifting in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland in two rusty old lifeboats. Captain Dalton spearheaded their rescue along with other local fishermen, dumping their entire catch of the day, to take on board these Tamil refugees until the Canadian coast guard arrived.

“Tamil Canadians, especially the rescued refugees who were fleeing violence in their war torn homeland, are eternally grateful to Captain Dalton and his crew for their heroic efforts,” said Dr. Vadivelu Santhakumar, President of the Canadian Tamil Congress. “He is a true Canadian hero and his legacy will always be intertwined with Tamil Canadian history.” Dr. Santhakumar added.

Over the years, Tamil Canadians have expressed their gratitude to Captain Dalton for his selfless and hero actions. He was first honoured by CTC in 2011 at a small dinner in St. John’s with his family and friends in attendance. Captain Dalton was also the recipient of CTC’s Leaders for Change award, presented in January 2012 at the annual Thai Pongal dinner in Toronto. In August 2016, Tamil Canadians, including some who arrived on the boat in 1986, visited Newfoundland to honour Captain Dalton, the other fisherman involved in the rescue, and the Canadian Coast Guard, to thank the community for their warm hospitality 30 years ago.

Captain Gus Dalton will be dearly missed by Tamil Canadians, most notably the rescued refugees and their families. “You will always be remembered in our hearts” said Suhapiramam Annalingam, one of the Tamil refugees Captain Dalton and his crew helped rescue.

A book of condolences will be opened for Captain Gus Dalton at the Canadian Tamil Congress office today January 18th and tomorrow January 19th 2018 from 6 pm to 9 pm. (CTC office address 10 Milner Business court, Suite 513, Scarborough, ON, M1B 3C6)

CTC will also pay tribute to the memory of Captain Gus Dalton at its upcoming annual Thai Pongal Dinner on Saturday January 20th 2018.

Funeral Details: https://dunphys.ca/obit/detail/518

News on Captain Gus Dalton

For media inquiries please contact:
David Poopalapillai
National Spokesperson
Canadian Tamil Congress
416-240-0078 (office)
905-781-7034 (cell)

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