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Tribute in Senate Chamber- The Late Honourable Richard J. Stanbury, Q.C.

 

Tributes

              The Late Honourable Richard J. Stanbury, Q.C.

The Hon. the Speaker: Honourable senators, I received a notice from the Leader of the Opposition who requests that pursuant to rule 4-3(1), that the time provided for the consideration of Senators' Statements be extended today for the purpose of paying tribute to the Honourable Richard Stanbury, whose death occurred on July 21, 2014. .  .  .


Hon. Anne C. Cools:
Honourable senators, I join today in these tributes to a fine human being, our former colleague, Toronto's late and great Senator Richard Stanbury, who departed this life on July 21 last. Known to us as "Dick" Stanbury, he was called to the Senate in 1968 by the then-Governor General His Excellency Roland Michener on the advice of the Right Honourable Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

On August 11 last, a beautiful memorial service was celebrated in honour of Dick Stanbury at his church, the charming Celebration Presbyterian Church, in North York. It was led by Reverend Carluci dos Santos. Dick Stanbury had helped to establish this church and served on its building committee.

Honourable senators, this service was attended by his surviving family members, parishioners, current senators, including myself, former senators, former ministers and former members of Parliament. It was a warm and beautiful farewell, a fitting rite of passage for a deserving man who gave much to his country, to the Liberal Party, to the Senate, his family, his colleagues and his friends.

His wife Margaret and his two daughters, Jane and Sally, were the great loves of his life. His family was his heart and his centre.

Colleagues, Senator Stanbury was a Toronto lawyer, a devoted Presbyterian and a committed Liberal. In his younger years, he had been a soldier with the Canadian Infantry Corps. He served the Liberal Party of Canada in many capacities, most notably as its president from 1968 to 1973. He was also involved in Liberal International.

Honourable senators, Senator Stanbury and I shared a unique and memorable moment on the evening of April 6, 1978, at Toronto's Sheraton Centre. That evening was the federal Liberal nomination meeting for Toronto's Rosedale riding. I was a candidate in that nomination process. The Liberal Party had chosen this large venue because of the copious supporters in this unusually large nomination contest between two candidates: Dr. John Evans and myself.

Senator Stanbury was the chairman of this Rosedale riding nomination meeting that evening. Colleagues, as is known, the Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau was elected as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada that day — April 6 — 10 years before. On April 6, that day, at the same Liberal Party convention 10 years before, Dick Stanbury was elected the Liberal Party of Canada's president. Our shared and special moment was the surprise and welcome appearance of Prime Minister Trudeau, after the votes were counted, at Rosedale's nomination meeting that evening in celebration of the tenth anniversary of his election as party leader. That evening, Senator Stanbury and I shared and treasured the presence of Pierre Trudeau in our midst and the memory of the date April 6 in our lives. So did the several thousand Liberals were present at the largest Liberal nomination meeting to date, with only two candidates.

Honourable senators, Senator Stanbury, upon retiring on April 30, 1998, in this place said:

Service to the Canadian public has always been the highest calling of a Canadian citizen.

Senator Stanbury personified the human concept that is public service. I laud and uphold him and his memory today.

Senator Stanbury's daughter Sally Day is present today in our gallery. With her are his grandchildren Jennifer Glass and Jaclyn Day and their spouses Jeff Glass and Charles Shaw and his great-grandson Tyler Glass.

Honourable senators, Senator Stanbury's pilgrimage is over; his journey is done; his labours are well behind him now. He served well. I was privileged to work with him here for 14 years. In dedication to his family and extending my greatest sympathies and condolences to them, I wish to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

This phrase, "Love never fails," is a measure of the man who was Senator Stanbury. I send my best wishes to his family members, and I also say to all of us here: May he and his beloved Margaret rest in peace. May God hold them in the palm of His hand.

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