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Speech in Senate Chamber: Senator Cools pays tribute to the late Senator Orville Howard Phillips, a Bomber Command veteran, on his passing.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to honour my late friend, supporter and former colleague, Senator Orville Phillips, who passed away on April 24 last. I attended his funeral at the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre on Tuesday, April 28. It was a noble and moving ceremony, fitting to a senator and a Canadian World War II veteran.

Honourable senators, on March 24, 1999, during tributes on Senator Phillips' retirement, Senator Murray spoke with some levity about Senator Phillips' friendships with many senators, myself included, saying:

The most intriguing political alliance of all has been that between Senator Phillips and Senator Cools. . . . He has supported and encouraged her.

Senator Murray continued:

Unfortunately, Senator Cools has not always reciprocated. How many times have I sat here with Senator Phillips, with the division bells ringing for a vote, and I have turned to Senator Phillips and said, "Orville," . . . "Do you think there will be any defections on the other side?" and Senator Phillips has said, "Watch Senator Cools." We sit there, brimming with anticipation, my own excitement almost as intense as his, as the Clerk goes down the Liberal benches, only to find that when her name is called, notwithstanding her great admiration for Senator Phillips, he has been foiled again by the Liberal whip.

Honourable senators, Senator Phillips' life was service: war service, professional service as a dentist, and public service both in the Senate and in the Commons. He served in RCAF Bomber Command. He took part in many bombing missions over Germany in the famous Halifax plane. He embodied his battle scars as many veterans do. War, the fierce horseman of the Apocalypse, is a terrible and grim master. War is carved in the heart and psyche of the men and women of active combat in the theatres of the many wars. For too long the psychic injuries of men in arms has received too little attention. Senator Phillips understood the devastation of war for all humanity and all life. He did much distinguished work in the Senate, but his greatest was his work for veterans. He ever upheld them in every aspect of their life. He was their faithful friend.

Honourable senators, I extend my warmest sympathy and affection to Senator Phillips and his late wife Marguerite's four children — Brian, Robert, Betty and Patricia — and the nine grandchildren — Michael, David, Andrew, Stewart, Derek, Christian, Sarah, Nicholas and Sean. Their father, and grandfather, was held in great esteem by many of us here.

Honourable senators, I should like to cite the Scriptures, 2 Timothy, chapter 4, verses 7 and 8:

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

May God hold this wonderful man, this warrior, Orville Phillips, my friend, in the palm of His hand.

 

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