Rob Bernshaw, Columnist, Pincher Creek Voice
Even though Premier Peter Lougheed has passed from physical view and many people refer to him as former Premier of Alberta in word and print, this writer prefers to honor his spirit and determination of character in the present tense. Therefore throughout this column commemorating who Peter Lougheed truly was, he will be referred to in a manner that honors the human being himself and the valuable contributions he provided to us as Premier of Alberta. In spirit he will always remain Premier of Alberta even though the physical body housing his formidable spirit has passed from our presence and view.
|Premier Peter Lougheed |
Courtesy of Edmonton Journal
Only one person has the distinction of being voted the best Alberta Premier of the past forty years. Premier Peter Lougheed is the only Albertan, in fact the only Canadian Provincial Premier that has obtained that unique title on top of all his other attributes.
What a fitting epitaph for the very rare and unique individual that Premier Peter Lougheed was while spending his Dash on this wonderful planet called Earth. His vision and forethought brought Alberta into the future while honoring the past, and his vision and spirit lives on in many Albertans and Canadians of today.
|Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed laying in State, Edmonton AB |
Courtesy Alberta Government September 2012
While in the rotunda at the 100 year old Alberta Legislature Building In Edmonton Alberta on Monday September 17, 2012, many thoughts came to mind while reflecting with head bowed in front of the Alberta and Canadian Flag draped closed casket of Premier Peter Lougheed. His unique character and integrity obtained him the great honor of laying in State in the rotunda of this historic legislature building. As fitting this rare individual, two flags were draped over his casket to honor what he did for Alberta and Canada, as leader, statesman and ultimate team player on the Alberta and Canadian team.
|Quiet pool in front of 100 year old Alberta Legislature Building |
Edmonton AB Monday September 17, 2012 R. Bernshaw photo
Even the pool reflecting the front of the historic legislature was quiet this day as many people of all walks of life paused inside the rotunda for a moment of reflection in front of the closed dual flag draped casket holding this great man and wonderful human being laying in state.
This columnist arrived bright and early to pay respects to a gentleman that respected people of all stripes with the dignity and character that was Premier Peter Lougheed.
He knew full well that we are all in the same boat and teamwork is what helps keep it afloat.
He was the ultimate captain and team player. This was not only reflected in the public spotlight but was reflected in how he respected and encouraged members of his family to be the best they could be by his words and actions. He walked the talk both in private and the public spotlight on this stage called life.
Two flags draping a casket bears significant tribute to Premier Peter Lougheed not only as a great human being full of integrity and character as a person, but a true statesman and leader in every sense. Premier Lougheed was the consummate human being first and politician second. He was always concerned about the human condition and his words and actions displayed that everywhere he went. His sincere personable smile and the ability to remember peoples names and events put him on a level with the rest of the public that has not been seen before in the history of Alberta leaders.
While reflecting on the accomplishments and life of a great human being and statesman the following poem came to mind:
Our Deepest Fear
by Marianne Williamson
from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
As the poem so aptly states all of us have the ability and power to be as great as we can be. Premier Peter Lougheed was a person that took the bull by the horns so to speak and let his light shine. The brilliance and radiance of the light that he shed gave other people permission to shed their light in the process.
He exuded all the qualities of a great leader and the following YouTube video,10 Things Authentic Leaders Do By Robin Sharma is a reflection of qualities that Premier Peter Lougheed portrayed in all aspects of his life:
|Hay pitching contest between Peter Lougheed and Premier Strom |
June 7, 1969.
Provincial Archives of Alberta, J346
|Rob Bernshaw, Alberta Legislature|
Monday, September 17
Throughout the years from the time of his first breath (July 26, 1928) to the time his final breath left his body on September 13, 2012 , the respect and love for his fellow human beings while spending his Dash was evident in the results produced. The legacy that Premier Peter Lougheed left us as we move forward is irrefutable and was not about entitlement, but about us and how grateful he was for us. It was not what Premier Lougheed could get out of life for himself but his contributions to others. The Dash he spent well was not about taking but contributing and giving back to society. He viewed spending his Dash with gratitude and appreciation for everyone around.
Premier Peter Lougheed deserves the honor of being referred to in the present tense in the full sense of the word because for many spending their Dash today, still see him as Alberta’s Premier in their hearts and minds and in the spirit he left behind. Sincerest condolences to family friends and loved ones go out as we move forward with fondest memories of Premier Peter Lougheed and the legacy he left in the process. Thank you Premier Peter Lougheed and the Lougheed Family for sharing your bright light, while spending your Dash for us throughout the years.