Mr. Speaker, I was struck with sadness when I was informed that my good friend and former parliamentarian Jean Roy had suddenly passed away at his home in Timmins on December 28.
Yesterday Jean and his good wife Georgette would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The longevity of their marriage speaks volumes of how Jean viewed all his relationships with people, whether that relationship was in matrimony, in family, in business, in friendship and with his colleagues in this Chamber.
For 11 years, from 1968 to 1979, Jean occupied this seat from which I address this House. He won three consecutive elections and no doubt would have continued to serve his constituents and his country but for a heart attack in 1977. This event forced Jean to retire from active political life and was the reason he did not seek re-election in the 1979 general election.
He loved this Chamber. He worked endlessly. He was never shy to express his strong views on any major topic or issue, whether in caucus, in this House or in public. He was a great parliamentarian.
Although Jean was forced to retire from his political career at a young age, he never ceased to be involved in politics. He loved talking about politics and was involved in every election after his retirement. He was deeply involved in his many community initiatives and contributed much to the community. As a young man I was very much involved and contributed much of my time to his elections in 1968, 1972 and 1975.
I am convinced that was the reason Jean sought me out to be one of his golf partners after he retired. Much of our conversation on the golf course was about the political climate of the day and the future of our country. Jean always had strong opinions and was able to express them clearly.
Jean prompted me to offer my candidacy as a Liberal candidate in the 1988 general election and again in the 1993 general election. Jean had by then become one of my greatest supporters and closest advisers and a friend. As a personal friend of Jean, I benefited much from his optimism, his positive outlook and his political counsel.
Jean was a man who gave everything of himself not only to those around him but also to the society in which he lived. He was a good family man and a good provider. Jean's wife Georgette, his children Louise and Jean, and his grandchildren were always his first priority. Jean served his family and his country well. When all else has been forgotten, service to others endures. What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others remains and is immortal.
Jean loved much and he was loved by all. Love is the greatest transformer. It turns ambition into aspirations, selfishness into service, greed into gratitude, receiving into giving, and demands into dedication. Jean loved much and his deeds will truly live forever.