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Speech in Senate Chamber: Senator Cools pays tribute to the Usher of the Black Rod, Lieutenant-Commander (Ret'd) Terrance J. Christopher, on his retirement.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I, too, rise to pay tribute to our very dear Usher of the Black Rod, Lieutenant- Commander Terrance Christopher. He has served as the Usher of the Black Rod for the past five years and leaves us today.

I wish to thank him for his excellent service and for his devotion to Her Majesty the Queen, the Governor General, the Senate and to the people of Canada.

A former sailor with a deep and thorough knowledge of the military, Terrance Christopher has brought solemnity, serenity, brilliance and beauty to this office. He has discharged his duties with grace and distinction. His love of the Armed Forces, both of serving personnel and veterans, his love of public service and his dedication to the constitutional institutions of Canada have made him a memorable Usher of the Black Rod.

I say goodbye to him today; I bid him farewell. In so doing, I express my personal gratitude for his efforts here. I wish him the very best in the future. I also wish to express my appreciation to his wife, Geraldine, and to his family, his children and grandchildren.

The Usher of the Black Rod, Lieutenant-Commander Terrance Christopher, leaves this place in possession of the respect, admiration and affection of many of us senators. God bless him and God bless his family.

Unbeknownst to many senators, the Usher of the Black Rod is the personal officer of Her Majesty in this place. Due to the growth of bureaucracy and the reorganization to adapt to modernism the role of the User of the Black Rod is no longer widely understood. However, the Usher of the Black Rod is the person commanded by Her Majesty to be in charge of the health, safety and security of the members of this place.

I thank you, dear sailor, for holding your Black Rod and for keeping that keen military eye on each and every one of us in respect of our health and security. I must tell you, I have felt very well protected by you.


The remainder of this day's Senate Debates are available here.