Today was a very sad day, for me and so many Canadians. I attended Peter Lougheed’s Memorial Service at the Jubilee. I thoroughly enjoyed the big band sound of the Jim Brenan Orchestra, the Gershwin on Jens Lindemann’s Flugal horn, Natalie Fagnan’s voice and the Afiara String Quartet. Equally entertaining, and more poignant, were the moving tributes by Rex Murphy, Lee Richardson, Jim Dinning, Stephen Harper and, of course, Alison Redford. Stephen Lougheed also spoke on behalf of the family, doing a marvelous job. I couldn’t possibly list all the dignitaries in attendance to pay their respects, but the list includes Premiers’ Charest and Wall, Joe Clark, Michael Wilson (my former boss), I believe I saw Marc Lalond, Mayor Nenshi, what appeared to be the entire current Provincial Cabinet and PC Caucus, opposition leaders, and so many friends and fellow travelers from campaigns and life in years gone by.
Peter Lougheed’s life was honoured and celebrated today by his family, his friends, his colleagues, his opponents and hundreds of people who had never even met him. It was noted often, and with sincerity, that today each of us lives in Peter Lougheed’s Alberta. The province was shaped by his ideas, his leadership and his years of service. The Prime Minister, at least one former Prime Minister and 3 sitting Premiers, were there to honour Mr. Lougheed and to acknowledge his extraordinary leadership and accomplishments.
In some ways Rex Murphy summed it up best when he quipped that this Memorial was a real pleasure for him, as at most other memorials he had to lie. But not today.
This evening I took my sons to their football practices, another of Peter Lougheed’s passions and abilities, and enjoyed watching them having a grand old time. Life is very good in Alberta. Thank you Premier Lougheed.