March 17, 2019 8:38 pm
Updated: March 17, 2019 8:44 pm

Calgarians sing outside city hall to honour 18 Canadian victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash

WATCH: Calgarians gathered at city hall on Sunday to remember the 18 Canadians who died in last week's Ethiopian Airlines crash.


On the heels of Friday’s vigil in Calgary for New Zealand shooting victims, another one was held on Sunday at the same spot for victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

On March 10, six minutes after takeoff from Bole Airport in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, the flight crashed, killing 157 people.

READ MORE: Ethiopian Airlines crash: what we know so far about what happened and why

Yared Fantaye, a member of Calgary’s Ethiopian community, organized the vigil for the 18 Canadians killed so people could have the opportunity to show emotions and grieve collectively.

“This is our Canadian culture,” he said. “When someone is in need, you get closer.”

People harmoniously sang Alleluia, clapping along to the beat while they lit candles.

Calgarians sang at a vigil on Sunday for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10.

Michael King/Global News

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City of Calgary accountant Derick Lwugi, 45, died in the plane crash, leaving behind a wife, two daughters and a son, Prince Kivia.

“He was probably the greatest man that I’ve ever known,” Kivia told Global News on March 10.

“He was a role model to anyone that ever encountered him. He was a role model to me especially. I always found that he was probably the strongest person I ever knew, and he never did anything wrong in my eyes.”

READ MORE: Calgarians rally behind family of Ethiopian Airlines crash victim

Lwugi was a leader in Calgary’s Kenyan community, Kivia said.

“He’s always tried to help out and unite everyone in every possible way that he could,” he said. “He’s always loved the Kenyan community and cherished every single minute that he gets to spend with all the Kenyans that he encountered here in Calgary.”

Calgarians attended a vigil on Sunday for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10.

Michael King/Global News

Fantaye echoed that sentiment on Sunday, calling Lwugi a “true Canadian.”

“He helped newcomers to integrate into this society… People gave us their word that this person was a one-of-a-kind, that [he] has very human and humble roots and quickly [reacts] to people when they are in need,” he said.

READ MORE: Ethiopian Airlines crash: These are the Canadian victims

Wycliffe Oduor, president of the Kenyan Community Association in Calgary, said it’s important for people to be unified in the aftermath of a horrific event.

“It brings us all together as communities, and we celebrate the lives of the victims of the crash,” he said. “It helps bring closure and, not only that, [it] remains as a memorial to the families.

“[Closure] is important because we take bad and turn it to good, and so from this negative impact that it has, something positive is going to come of this.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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