The Honourable George J. Furey, Q.C.
Speaker of the Senate
On the morning of June 5, 2017, the flag atop the Peace Tower flew at half-mast, lowered in solemn recognition of the memorial service for former parliamentarians taking place in the Senate Chamber.
The annual ceremony, hosted by the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, pays tribute to the lives and legacies of former parliamentarians who have passed away during the previous year.
Friends, family and colleagues of 30 departed former parliamentarians assembled in the Red Chamber to pay their respects to lives well-lived in the service of others.
Representing the Senate, Speaker George J. Furey led the official procession into a somber Senate Chamber to begin the memorial service.
In his remarks, Speaker Furey spoke of the intense bond that unites all parliamentarians, past and present, and regardless of political affiliation.
“Whether our time here is brief, or whether it spans the course of many decades, parliamentarians are united by their passion to serve, their love for this great country of ours, and their desire to improve the lives of fellow Canadians,” said Speaker Furey.
As some of the many accomplishments of former colleagues were recounted by their loved ones, Speaker Furey was reminded of the wisdom and integrity with which the departed parliamentarians served Canadians.
“Let us remember the endless dedication, the boundless energy and the immeasurable contributions of our notable colleagues,” said Speaker Furey.
He emphasized that in order to honour the departed, parliamentarians must never take for granted the privileges and responsibilities entrusted to them to serve for the betterment of their country.
“May we draw strength and courage from the experience of those before us, and may their memory inspire us to overcome the challenges that still lie ahead,” said Speaker Furey.
Following the honourable call of the names of the departed, Speaker Furey joined House Speaker Geoff Regan in laying a ceremonial wreath on behalf of the Parliament of Canada.
Speaker Furey leads the official party into the Red Chamber to begin the memorial service.