Hundreds pay tribute to a life lived in service

An RCMP officer killed in the earthquake in Haiti earlier this monthwas remembered for his enthusiasm, his dedication to his work and hislove for his family.

An RCMP officer killed in the earthquake in Haiti earlier this month was remembered for his enthusiasm, his dedication to his work and his love for his family.

More than 900 RCMP officers, Ontario Provincial Police, Ottawa Police, Montreal Police and members of other agencies marched from the Cartier Square Drill Hall to the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica yesterday.

“Coates was an uncommon guy,” said RCMP Chief Supt. David Beer. “He possessed uncommon human qualities, he possessed uncommon professional skill.”

Coates, 52, who leaves his wife of 28 years, Lise, and their three children, Luc, Julie and Mathieu, was serving with the United Nations in Port-au-Prince and was inside the UN headquarters when the building collapsed Jan. 12.

He joined the RCMP in 1978, leaving on his first United Nations mission in Haiti in 1993.

“That was the beginning of a brilliant career in international policing and peace operations as well as a personal and professional commitment to Haiti,” said Supt. Jean-Michel Blais. “In his death we are left with an inspiring example of a life dedicated to service.”

But his priority was his family, said his son, Luc.

“If I ever have the opportunity to have children of my own, I will strive to be a father just like he was to me. Dad ... you sure set the bar high.”

 
 
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