Family and friends identify victim of North Vancouver crash as grandmother and 'fearless' community organizer
VANCOUVER -- Marcelina Perdido Agulay fought to ensure the rights of others.
Agulay, known by most as “Lina,” was a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and community organizer.
On Tuesday night, she was killed in a car crash in North Vancouver after police say another vehicle appears to have crossed the centre line.
According to a GoFundMe set up by family members, her husband, Leonilo, who was in the passenger seat, is now fighting for his life.
“We are all in shock and in utter disbelief,” organizer Karissa Abad wrote on the fundraiser.
“Lina leaves behind a family who will miss her so dearly including a son and two grandchildren.”
Agulay was a member of Migrante BC, a community organization that works to protect the rights of Filipino immigrants and migrant workers.
Beth Dollaga first met Agulay in 1996, and over the years became a close family friend.
“She is a changemaker,” Dollaga said, explaining that Agulay had come to Canada as a caregiver and domestic worker in the 1990s, and was able to channel that personal experience into speaking up for others.
“There is that compassion, and the passion, and sense of justice in this work, that made her a special person,” Dollaga said.
On Facebook, the organization wrote that she was “known for her smiles, good sense of humour, a big and generous heart…she will be missed.”
Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mabel Elmore, who has known Agulay since 2008, described her as “relentless” and “courageous.”
“How many people have been impacted or touched by Lina? I think it’s in the hundreds and the thousands,” Elmore said.
Elmore said the fact Agulay’s family has been receiving tributes from people they don’t even know is “a testament to how she’s touched people.”
North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma tweeted Agulay was a “kind, principled, fearless organizer for the marginalized working class.”
"I'm personally devastated,” Ma wrote. “And there are no words to express the depth of this loss to our movement.”
Anne Kang, the MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake offered her prayers to the family of “Tita Lina” and for the recovery of “Tito Leo.”
“I will always remember Marcelina as the auntie who was always there supporting me, giving me lots of encouragement, and full of love and laughter,” Kang wrote on Facebook. “You will always live in my heart and my memories.”
Premier John Horgan described Agulay as a "tireless advocate for working people (who made) life better for everyone in our province."
Mounties have said alcohol and speed may be factors in the head-on crash, which occurred on Low Level Road around 11 p.m. Tuesday night.
According to the GoFundMe, Agulay had just picked up her husband from work.
“This is a tragic day,” said Sgt. Peter Devries of North Vancouver RCMP on Wednesday.
“The family and friends of this woman who died in this collision, they’re going to be going through some very difficult times in the next days and weeks."
Dollaga, who describe her close friend as thoughtful and principled, with a gentle spirit, said Agulay’s legacy would be multi-faceted, but had one common theme: making things better for others.
“The love for family, friends, and community, and being a change maker,” she said.