A friend of a Maple Ridge resident, who died after falling down a flight of stairs in Richmond, wants him to be remembered as a great person.
Hector Bremner, a former City of Vancouver councillor, met Rajinder Singh Bhela, in 2012 on a provincial political campaign that Bhela was organizing.
“He was a great person and I think a lot of people, when people pass they always say that. But in Raj’s case he truly was,” said Bremner, describing him as a political animal and passionate about what he believed in.
Bhela, 50, fell down a flight of stairs on Saturday, Jan. 30, at around 9 p.m. in the 11700-block of River Road in Richmond.
He was rushed to hospital with serious injuries, but died four days later.
Police only became involved on Friday, Feb. 5, when the BC Coroners Service asked for clarification surrounding the circumstances of the incident.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, police are treating the incident as an accident. They do not suspect foul play.
From what Bremner heard about the evening, nobody saw it happen. He heard that Bhela was on the stairs and something caused him to fall.
“People heard a noise and they saw him at the bottom of the stairs,” he said.
“It was quite sudden,” added Bremner.
Bhela had ties to the federal Liberal Party before he became a supporter of Andrew Scheer during his Conservative leadership campaign. He had also done a lot of work for the B.C. Liberal Party, said Bremner.
He was also a former general secretary of the Ross Street Temple in Vancouver.
“Federally he had a tumultuous history, but he was a really passionate guy,” said Bremner, adding that Bhela was working the night he passed away.
“He was in a great mood, and from what I heard, he was having a great time and they were having a nice night,” he said of the group that was at the address where the incident took place.
Bremner, who is now the CEO of a healthcare technology company, wants Bhela to be remembered as a person who always backed his friends, someone who was big on relationships and loyal.
He was also a hard-working organizer, said Bremner.
“I think everybody was grateful for his support,” he added.
Bremner described Bhela as always being high energy and having a good time.
“If you’d ever had a chance to hang out with him it was some of the most fun you’ll ever have.
“He just exuded a lot of positive energy and he was just a really good soul,” continued Bremner.
Everybody has their ups and downs and moments in life, noted Bremner. But Bhela, he said, had a really big heart and a pure soul.
“He was a guy who did a lot and he deserves to be recognized.”