NORMAN CAFIK

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CAFIK, Hon. Norman Augustine
December 29, 1928 - September 30, 2016
It is with profound sadness that the family of the Honourable Norman Augustine Cafik announce his passing on Friday September 30th, 2016 from the complications of Parkinson's Disease. Norman was born on December 29th, 1928 in Pickering Ontario to Mary Reid and Stephen Cafik. Norman, the sixth of seven children, is pre-deceased by his wife of 45 years, Patricia Ann Cafik, and brothers, Lou (late Ruby), Jack (Lois), and Raymond (late Muriel) and sister, Marion (late Howard). Norman is survived by his children, Monica, Julianna, Anthony, Yvonne, and Michael (Sandy), and grandchildren, William, James, Jennifer, Victoria, Marissa (Drew), Megan (Marshall), Sydney, John, Emily, Laura, Madison, Alex, and Stephen. He is also survived by brother Albert (Dianne) and brother in-law Phillip (Marilyn), a large family of adoring nieces and nephews, and his spouse of ten years, Pat Brown, her children, Elaine (Randy and sons Jeffrey and Jason) and Gordon (Melony) and cousin, Rose Mary Forbes.

There were few things that this self-made man some affectionately called, "Stormin Norman" couldn't do. He started out in industry as a tool and die maker, soon became an inventor, publisher, and successful businessman. He was a proud Canadian and committed public servant who was first elected to the House of Commons in 1968 as the Liberal member for the Ontario riding representing the people of Whitby, Ajax, Pickering and North to Lake Simcoe. He served three terms under the Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau becoming the second person of Ukrainian descent to be appointed to the Canadian Federal Cabinet and Canada's first Minister of State for Multiculturalism. He served in several key leadership positions in Trudeau's 1968, 1972, and 1974 governments, including Chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance, Trade, and Economic Affairs, Deputy House Leader of the Government of Canada and Chairman of the Ontario Liberal Caucus. He took a brief stint out of federal politics in 1974 to run for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party finishing a close second in the final ballot to Robert Nixon. A principled leader and gifted orator, he earned the respect of his constituents, colleagues, and Prime Minister, representing the Government of Canada on numerous occasions at home and abroad.

An amazingly accomplished and humble person, Norman was a pillar of strength to his family and all who knew him. His resiliency and strength came from a deep Catholic faith and desire to make a difference in the lives of others. He was a Knight of Malta, Knight of the Holy Sepulcher and member of the Knights of Columbus and on the day preceding his death was awarded Knight of the Month by the local Council of Knights. He received numerous awards and recognitions, including honourary Chief of the Ojibwa First Nation on Christian Island in Georgian Bay, Simcoe County and an Honourary Doctor of Laws in Political Science from Ukrainian Catholic University. For many years he was President of St. Elizabeth's Parish Council, served on numerous Diocesan task forces, and was the former editor of the Victoria Diocesan newspaper. He also served on numerous boards of directors spanning the public, private and not for profit sectors and mentored entrepreneurs and companies helping them turn ideas into products and successful business strategy.

He was extremely well read, had a love of philosophy, and enjoyed boating, camping, and cooking in the great outdoors. He was an enthusiastic gardener, and for over 30 years, was assisted in this task by Dave Vergowen, whom he affectionately referred to as Goldilocks. He had a special bond and relationship with Vera and Jackie Burrows, Dianne Giguere, and his good friend, Marcel Fauchon who shared his faith and love of carpentry and woodworking.

He was accepting of all people and situations and showed much grace and the Cafik intellect and wit even as his disease progressed. The family is extremely grateful to Father Rolf Hasenack for his love and compassion and Drs. Kennedy and Davidson and the nurses, staff, and volunteers who cared for Norman in the Palliative Care Unit at Saanich Peninsula Hospital.

Viewing will take place on Wednesday October 5th at 7 pm followed by the Rosary at 8 pm at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, 10030 Third St. in Sidney, British Columbia, Canada. The funeral will be held at the same location on Thursday October 6th at 11 am with a reception to follow. As an expression of sympathy, donations can be made to St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church or a Charity of Your Choice. Condolences and memories of Norman are appreciated and may be shared with the family online.

Published in National Post on Oct. 3, 2016
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