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Ricky Lavallie Memorial

by Maryann Abbs

Ricky's memorial - photo by Isaac Oommen
Ricky's memorial - photo by Isaac Oommen
Murray Bush - VMC Photos
Murray Bush - VMC Photos
Murray Bush - VMC Photos
Murray Bush - VMC Photos
Murray Bush - VMC Photos
Murray Bush - VMC Photos

Also posted by Maryann Abbs:

Richard Brian (Ricky) Lavallie

May 20 1960 - January 3 2012

On January 28, 2012, several hundred community members gathered to honour the memory of Ricky Lavallie. The memorial started with a gathering at 58 West Hastings, Coast Salish Territories, the site of the 2010 Olympic Tent Village, and then marched to the nearby Woodward's building. Ricky actively supported both the Olympic Tent Village, and the Woodward squat.

After the march, people gathered at W2 for a celebration of Ricky's life and a community dinner. Many people spoke about how Ricky had inspired them, and noted that he was “everywhere.” Ricky was a passionate musician and guitar player, and played at venues around town, as well as at actions. Ricky was very active in many social and environmental justice movements in Vancouver including stuggles against residential schools, gentrification in the downtown eastside, the Olympics, as well as a supporter of indignenous self-determination. He seemed to be present at every march, demonstration, blockade and tent city. Most recently, Ricky camped out at Occupy Vancouver, and was known there for his music, storytelling, and caring heart. Ricky was always ready to step up and be present in the fight for social justice.

May people spoke about how Ricky had touched their lives – some had known Ricky since childhood, and others had only met him recently.

Lily Loncar first met Ricky at the Woodward's Squat in 2002.  “Over the years

he was involved in so many actions against poverty and homelessness, especially

in the DTES.  He was active in the Anti-Poverty Committee, the Anti-Olympics

movement and more recently the Vancouver Occupy.  I don't remember a tent city

where Ricky wasn't there lifting people's spirits, singing, playing his guitar

and telling stories.  He was a talented visual artist as well as a musician. 

He was kind and gentle but also fierce when it came to fighting injustice.  I

think I'll always remember Ricky first and foremost as a warrior because that

is what he was - a warrior.”

People shared stories about how he was always welcoming, and made them feel that their presence was important. And, Ricky had a great knack for being able to remember everyone's names and stories. Ricky stayed to support actions through thick and thin, and even when the police came in to break up actions, Ricky stayed to support his fellow activists. Ricky touched so many people that a part of him will live on in every future action, and, if you listen hard enough, you'll be able to hear him singing.

Richard is survived by his mother Evelyn, father Tony, brothers and sisters, and many nieces and nephews.

A recording of Ricky singing at Occupy Vancouver can be found at:

Memorial Service for Ricky Facebook Page: (including some great photos and video)


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