Life of Hal Singleton celebrated Monday

Cancer claims life of Liberal stalwart and cancer screening advocate

MP Justin Trudeau acknowledges local Liberal Hal Singleton in November.

A man once called the godfather of federal Liberals in B.C. passed away in Chilliwack this week following a long battle with cancer.

Hal Singleton carried the Liberal flag high in the province, even after the Reform Party swept to prominence in the 1990s.

Despite two unsuccessful election bids under the Liberal banner, Singleton remained a staunch party supporter, first as constituency president, then as president of the Liberal party’s council of constituency presidents in B.C.

In November, that dedication earned him special recognition at an event that drew Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau.

Said Trudeau: “Your service to your country, whether it was in the military or whether it was as an active member of the political fight here in Chilliwack, it is your commitment to your community, to your family and to your country and that does both you and your entire community very, very proud.”

Lately Singleton focused his energies on advocating for better screening for the early signs of colorectal cancer. The disease, which is easily treated in its early stages, is usually fatal without an early diagnosis. It kills roughly 1,100 people each year in B.C. and is the second most fatal cancer among men and third most fatal among women.

Singleton argued that had he been properly diagnosed early on, the disease would not have entered the terminal stage.

Singleton lived to see his call answered. In early November the provincial government announced an early screening program for colorectal cancer.

A Celebration of Life is planned for Feb. 11 at Cooks Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, Singleton’s family is requesting donations be made to the Chilliwack Hospice Society, www.chilliwackhospice.org

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