Medal of Bravery for former Clarenville resident

Kevin Curley
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Justin Chan lost his life trying to save a friend

Justin Tak Chan, a 34-year-old former Clarenville resident, was awarded the medal of bravery posthumously in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on April 24.

Chan died Aug. 6, 2011, while trying to rescue his girlfriend, Amy Wong, who had been swept away in the Cheakmus River, in Whistler B.C. The woman also died.

Chan and Wong were fly-fishing in ankle-deep water when Wong fell in.

Chan was born in St. John’s, NL, and grew up in Clarenville. He graduated from Clarenville High School in 1995.

In 2001, he graduated from the University of Waterloo on the Dean’s Honours List with a Bachelor of Applied Science in System Design Engineering.

He worked with a couple of IT firms in Toronto before he joined Electronic Arts in Burnaby.

Chan became an integral part of the FIFA Soccer Gameplay Team, and helped create many of the features in the popular video game franchise.

Electronic Arts had a memorial screen in the opening of its FIFA Soccer 12 that read ‘In Loving Memorial of Justin Tak Chan.’

Justin’s father, Stephen Chan, who accepted the award on his behalf, says Justin was a gentlemen and very generous with friends and was well liked by his relatives, friends, co-workers and classmates.

“At his funeral, a couple of his former university classmates came to tell me that they would not have graduated from the University of Waterloo if Justin did not help them. His heroic act to save his girlfriend did not surprise his relatives, friends and co-workers.”

Organizations: University of Waterloo, Electronic Arts, Clarenville High School FIFA Soccer Gameplay Team

Geographic location: Clarenville, Cheakmus River, Whistler B.C. Toronto Burnaby

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