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West Vancouver mayor writes tribute to Keen Lau, who died on Friday

Lau died in a tragic drowning accident while trying to save his dog
Keen Lau and his Labrador retriever Loki.

West Vancouver Mayor Mark Sager has written a heartfelt message in memory of Keen Lau, who tragically died in a drowning accident Friday evening.

Lau was walking with his wife Lisa Park near Cypress Creek just after 9 p.m. when their Labrador retriever Loki was swept away after entering the water. Lau attempted to save the dog, but was also swept away by the current.

Both Lau and Loki’s bodies were recovered Saturday morning by members of West Vancouver Fire and Rescue.

With the blessing of Lau’s family, Sager released a message on Sunday dedicated to Lau, whom he called a “dear friend.” Lau ran alongside Sager in last year’s municipal election. Running for a council seat, Lau garnered more than 2,700 votes, but did not win.

Sager’s message is published in full below.

It is with profound sadness that I write with regard to the passing of my dear friend Keen Lau. On Friday evening, while attempting to rescue his family’s dog which was caught in Cypress Creek, he too was swept into the water’s current. Both Keen and his beloved Labrador lost their lives.

Keen was a truly exceptional individual. Deeply committed to our community, he offered to serve on council in the last municipal election. Throughout the years, Keen volunteered in various capacities with the B.C. Children’s Hospital, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation and the HSBC sponsored First Nations Youth Rugby Clinic. Deeply passionate about the mountains, Keen was also a BC Mountain Foundation board member and volunteered for trail maintenance with the BC Mountaineering Club.

Keen was universally loved by everyone who was fortunate enough to know him. He was a truly kind, devoted, and highly empathetic individual. Keen was also an extremely competent and capable athlete, and together we shared a passion for skiing and cycling. Thirteen years ago, while training as a competitive cyclist, he survived a horrendous biking accident that left him in recovery for nearly two years. This terrible setback did not deter Keen’s passion for sports and adventure. He rebuilt his psychological and physical strength on his bike and on the mountain. He used his profound understanding of psychological and physical pain to assist and enrich the lives of others, and most importantly his father, Laurence, who passed away in 2022.

Keen was recently married to the love of his life, Lisa Park. Together they were looking forward to a shared life and creating a family. Keen is survived not only by his dear wife but also by his wonderful mother Chui Han and his caring brother, Lee. My heart goes out to these people who will especially feel this untimely loss of a truly kind and wonderful son, brother and husband forever.

Our community of West Vancouver has lost a very special person who never uttered an unkind word to or about anyone. He saw the very best in humanity.

On behalf of every member of council and the District of West Vancouver, I extend my most heartfelt condolences to all who have been impacted by the untimely loss of this beautiful soul.

Mark Sager