Last Thursday, February 15, COPE held a tribute for me as I step away from the front line of civic politics and COPE’s executive after more than 30 years. It was a night I will never forget.
I want to share some of my reactions to that special night and extend my deep appreciation to so many people.
First, a huge thank you to Connie Hubbs and the great COPE team around her who did such a fabulous job organizing an event that meant so much to me. It was held at Fraserview Banquet Hall — one of my favourites — and the food was absolutely fabulous.
I’d also like to thank all the wonderful people who came out. Those who told stories about my past reminded me of some of the great adventures I’m proud to have been part of over the past 30-some years.
Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union, representing HandyDART workers, described my involvement in the creation of this door-to-door, shared ride service for passengers with disabilities who can’t use conventional public transit without assistance. It brought back memories when I was in first year law at UBC and having a great time lobbying the Urban Transit Authority (now TransLink) for the creation of the service so many of us now take for granted.
Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know what a hero Harry Rankin was and still is to me. He wrote the letter that got me into law school and hired me as an articling law student, which launched my career. His son, Phil Rankin, delivered a great speech, and I was so touched by the way he described qualities that Harry and I share.
Many people spoke so eloquently but, unfortunately, I can’t review them all here. Suffice to say the speeches went on for just over an hour and a half and I was moved by each and every one of them.
But I can’t end without noting that all of my office staff not only came to the event but spoke as well. I was very touched. It’s only through their support over the past three decades that I’ve been able to spend so much time at my law office on other files, like COPE.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that my partner Penny has been my political advisor throughout these many years. We’ve been together since 1982, and I could not have accomplished half of what I’ve done without her incredible support.
All of the people who attended the tribute reminded me of the amazing support I’ve had over the decades. They also reminded me of something very important: Social movements are never successful because of one person alone. They’re achieved by teams of people working together.
Here are some images from the wonderful night! (Do you have photos to share? If so please share them on the Facebook ‘Tribute to Tim’ event page.)
***UPDATE: The Redeye Collective on Vancouver Coop Radio has posted an interview Ian Mass did with me. I enjoyed it very much. Listen to it here!
Members of the ATU
Phil Rankin, son of my mentor Harry Rankin
Fmr. Vancouver City Councillor Dr. Fred Bass and a refreshing bottle of ‘COPE Classic’
Housing activist Jean Swanson
My amazing and indefatigable staff
Dave Myles, my first-ever client
My partner Penny Parry
COPE Co-chair Connie Hubbs, Daryl Morgan, and Penny Penny
Connie Hubbs emceeing up a storm
Former COPE Treasurer Paul Houle
Smiles from Jamie Lee Hamilton and Pete Fry at the curry buffet
Gail Davidson and Renee Rodin strike a pose
We’re all ears
Sid Chow Tan
Phil Rankin and Mel Lehan
Mel Lehan addressing the room
Thanks again everyone for coming out and making such a fantastic night!