12 December 2017
By Mary Bermingham
The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald has expressed his deep sadness on learning of the death of 65-year-old Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco City and County.
“I wish to extend my sincere sympathy to his wife Anita, his family and friends and the people of San Francisco. I got to know Mayor Lee on a visit to San Francisco as Deputy Lord Mayor in 2012 during the St. Patricks Day celebrations. The following year, he chose Cork for his first international visit when he was asked to be Grand Marshall at that year’s annual St Patrick’s Day parade. I accompanied him on a walkabout of the city and he was so impressed with the friendliness and hospitality of the people of Cork. Our friendship was renewed recently when he led a 90 strong delegation to Cork and addressed the city’s 3rd UNESCO Learning Cities Conference. He also visited Pairc Ui Chaoimh, addressed a Chamber of Commerce breakfast and met with Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, UCC, and Port of Cork representatives”.
“San Francisco has lost a great leader and champion; a man who always embodied the city’s values, beliefs and ambition. Anyone who spent time with Mayor Lee walked away thinking what a fundamentally decent and genuine man he was and how he was always looking outwards, always thinking of others. In the aftermath of Storm Ophelia, as San Francisco’s Napa Valley battled its own fires, he found time to write to me to let us know that he and the people of San Francisco were thinking of ‘our much loved sister city of Cork’, “he said.
Chief Executive, Cork City Council, Ann Doherty said: “It is with profound shock and sadness that we learnt of the passing of Mayor Ed Lee. He was a true friend to Cork who was always working to further our relationship across economic development, technology, food, education, government and through our cultural offerings”.
San Francisco is a sister city of Cork with deep economic, social and cultural links forged between both cities since the twinning was established in 1984.