The Honourable Murray Sinclair – Tribute – Sen. Bovey

By: The Hon. Patricia Bovey

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Hon. Patricia Bovey: Honourable senators, our esteemed colleague, honoured Manitoban and Canadian, Senator Sinclair has been the conscience and an inspiration for many. Words of appreciation for all his myriad contributions to his province, his communities and nation in so many spheres are, as a whole, inadequate, but I’m going to try anyway. My words are true and heartfelt.

Senator Sinclair’s judicial career is celebratory as the first First Nations judge in our province of Manitoba, but during his time on the bench, I wonder if you know about his simultaneous stage acting career? He was the voice and presence on high at left stage in a Manitoba lawyers’ production about 20 years ago of Fiddler on the Roof in support of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. I was seated in row 2, and I can assure you that his presence and voice were felt. Indeed, his voice carried better than anyone else’s in the cast, and they were all accomplished speakers. Do we see a theatre career in the offing?

His work as a Truth and Reconciliation commissioner is well known and has been talked about by others. I want to convey my appreciation for the special ceremony at the University of Manitoba during my tenure as board chair the day Murray announced the transfer of material and records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to the university’s new Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. The emotion in the room was palpable. Murray, your work, passion and dedication, and that of the commission, must and will be a beacon for us for all years to come. We will get there, Murray.

Personally, I thank you for being a key part of my memorable day in this place as my sponsor and guide for my inauguration. Thank you, Murray.

Senator Sinclair, your insights and sensitivities in this chamber are much appreciated. I thank you on many levels. I have learned, and continue to learn, so much from you. Your challenge to Canada’s museum sector to lead the way in telling the truth of our history and to reconciliation is especially poignant. You were heard. Education in those places where families go is important. Families don’t go to schools together, but they do go to museums together.

I wish you and Katherine all the very best in the next chapter of your lives as you mentor young First Nations lawyers. They are lucky to have you for your shoulder and your advice. I look forward to your autobiography and to your continuing mentorship of me in the Senate and in my non-Senate life. I will miss your sense of humour and those Monday morning coffees in the Winnipeg airport before we departed for Ottawa.

Stay safe and good luck, my friend. You will be missed in this chamber, but I hope to see you soon. Thank you.

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