Saturday, August 30, 2003

GG honours dead man's courage

U of O engineering student killed in stabbing to receive bravery medal


ANDY Moffitt, a caring and compassionate person whose act of courage cost him his life, is being honoured by the governor general with a Medal of Bravery for his heroic act.

"It was the first time we felt joy in our hearts since we lost him," said Andy's mother Paulette Moffitt yesterday from their Brockville home after receiving the letter from the governor general's office July 5.

Andy was out celebrating the end of exams when the University of Ottawa computer engineering student was knifed in the heart while trying to restrain a violent patron at a Sandy Hill bar just before Christmas in 1998.

He was 23 years old and in his final year of school. His sudden death left the family shattered trying to come to grips with the circumstances of his death.

"He didn't deserve to die. If a knife was never pulled out, he'd be here today," she said.


The day after the family received the confirmation letter, Paulette sat down and wrote a letter to Andy in a message book she keeps for him. It's a book she hopes to one day complete and sell copies of to raise money to set up scholarships for the three Brockville high schools.

"We all know that you sacrificed your life when you got up to help that terrible night. But now, Andy, you have been recognized for your act of courage by the government of Canada," she wrote in the book, adding it will give the family the closure they want.

Paulette, along with Andy's father, Rod Moffitt, will be in Quebec City Sept. 12 to accept the medal on their son's behalf.

A memorial will be held at Andy's burial site in Brockville upon their arrival home, where they will present him with his medal.

The family then plans to have the medal framed and displayed in their home.


Paulette said her son had been a caring and compassionate person since he was young, always putting others ahead of himself.

"He was always worried about everybody else," Paulette said.

He was a loving son and brother who took pride in raising his younger brother Mike, now 16. He was also close to his older brother Rod Jr., now 31.

"He always would tell Michael he would be there for him forever," Paulette said.

He was a dedicated Senators fan with a passion for hockey. Every time Paulette watches a game she pictures her son watching the game also. "He enjoyed life," she said.

The Moffitts were also successful in establishing a University of Ottawa scholarship fund for engineering students in honour of their son.

   Letter to the Media
   Bill C-393
   Our Angel
   Thank You
   Mike's Speech
   Memorial Speech
   Andy's Story
   Our Brother