QUOTE OF NOTE
Kevin Major has called Newfoundland politics the ‘entertaining sport of personalities.’
— The Gazette, Memorial University, June 2005.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"As my wife always says, the best part of the speech is when you sit down."
— John Joseph Murphy, former mayor of St. John’s, after receiving the Freedom of the City, on Thursday, June 24th, as quoted in The Telegram.
Sheila-Guy Murphy apparently isn’t always right.
Her husband’s City Hall acceptance speech was witty and “rousing,” according to the newspaper report.
Which isn’t too shabby for an 88-year-old with Parkinson’s.
Born in 1922, Murphy, a one-time VOCM announcer, went on to become president of The Arcade, a chain of eastern Newfoundland discount stores.
His nickname was “Rags”, as coined by Ray Guy after Murphy’s line of work.
Murphy received an honorary doctorate from Memorial University in June 2005.
In a speech honoring Murphy, Dr. Annette Staveley commented on where he gets his youthful appearance and energy:
“Sheilagh tells me it is all due to daily doses of cod liver oil and liberal applications of the actor’s standby — Nivea Intensive Cream for Men.
Murphy wasn’t the only personality to get an honorary doctorate in 2005.
Rick Mercer became a Doctor of Letters at the same ceremony.
His acceptance speech is particularly timely this week, given school’s out.
Top 5 quotes from Rick Mercer’s acceptance speech:
No. 5: “I know what you’re thinking, ‘My God he’s so tall.’”
No. 4: “Apparently in Newfoundland they give out degrees for being saucy now.”
No. 3: “You (degree recipients) have devoted years of your life to achieve this goal, you’ve made personal sacrifices and in more cases than not you are now saddled with a sizeable personal debt. I, on the other hand, did none of those things and yet somehow I’m the one with the doctorate. And not just any doctorate, but a doctorate of letters! My fellow graduates, on a good day I cannot spell graduate.”
No. 2: “I was talking to my father about this (not attending university) not long ago, and I was telling him that I wished I went to university back when I had a chance. I said, ‘You know Dad, looking back, I think at the time I lacked the wisdom of seeing how important a post-secondary education really is.’ Dad said, ‘No, what you lacked was a high-school diploma.’”
No. 1: “I do have some advice (for fellow graduates): moisturize … remember, the skin is an organ.”
Maybe it was the full moon, but this has been a strange week in politics.
I’m paranoid one of our provincial cabinet ministers may be a foreign spy.
Richard Fadden, director of CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, revealed on CBC’s The National this week that a number of Canadian politicians had fallen under the influence of foreign powers.
He said the group included a couple of cabinet ministers in a couple of provinces, although he didn’t elaborate.
And so a cloud of suspicion was cast over the entire Danny Williams crew, at least from where I sat in the suspicious section.
Could someone be spying for the German company looking to reopen the Grand Falls-Windsor paper mill?
Like I said — totally paranoid.
I'm on the lookout for the Rolling Stone's latest edition for the feature article (The Runaway General) that brought down American’s top military man in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, over his remarks to the rock magazine about why the U.S. is losing the war.
The best of journalism.
Meantime, The National's interview with the director of CSIS has been described by The Globe as the “worst of journalism.”
According to columnist Norman Spector, the CBC sat on the story for weeks.
CBC approached Fadden this spring to repeat remarks he had made at a private, but videotaped, speech at the Royal Canadian Military institute.
Spector wrote that the public broadcaster kept the interview in its back pocket until it broadcast the exclusive this week, on the eve of a state visit to Canada by China’s President Hu.
I end this post with a quote from Newfoundland businessman, Ches Penney, who also received an honorary doctorate from Memorial in 2005:
“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play a round of golf. There will always be time to clean the house and the car.”