Sure, Premier Paul Davis said he may call the House back in the fall for a quick amendment to a law, but for most members, Tuesday was the last day of the session.
And for some members, like George Murphy, it was their last day in the House of Assembly, period, full stop, end of story.
They all got a few minutes to say a few words and get emotional.
And after all the formal proceedings were done, the three party leaders got to speak. It’s fascinating to see what they said about their colleagues, as recorded by Hansard
Premier Paul Davis spoke last. He thanked all sorts of people, but what’s worth noting is what he had to say about George Murphy:
I just want to take a few moments to also acknowledge members who have spoken up about their future. While we do not know yet if there is going to be a fall sitting of this particular session – and there could very well be a fall sitting of this particular session. In knowing that some members have expressed a future for them – we heard this afternoon from the Member for St. John's East.
I just want to take a moment to congratulate him on his contribution to Newfoundland and Labrador. We may see him again here the fall, but I do want to take a moment because he did have his speech this afternoon and I just want to thank him for that, thank him for sharing his very personal comments, background and history, and his deep appreciation for having had the privilege to serve here in the House. We all serve with a level of privilege that is provided to us by the people of the Province, so congratulations to you and I wish you all the best, Sir.Opposition leader Dwight Ball spoke second last. He gave some bland remarks that showed very little sign of any thought.
But he said something:
In reflecting on this, I do want to make mention – just in case we are not back here. Some people will not be coming back to this House. I reflect and remember back in 2007 when I was in a similar circumstance, and I look no further than the Speaker who has already made his commitment that he will move on to the next step of his life. I want to recognize the great work the Speaker has done, and we wish you all the best in the future, Sir.Of all the party leaders in the House, Lorraine Michael spoke first. She had a choice spot. One of her caucus members had announced already he would not be back. George Murphy gave a very emotional speech about what being a member of the House had meant for him. Tuesday was an important day for George and Lorraine had a golden opportunity to set the tone for those who would follow her.
Lorraine used her opportunity to full effect.
So while Lorraine spoke first in the House, let us give her the final word here at Bond Papers.
It is only fitting that the world should know, for posterity what Lorraine Michael said about George Murphy, one of the fellows elected with her in the great surprise of 2011. The fellow who had been part of the caucus revolt and who had gone back to her leadership was now leaving to spend more time with his family. He wouldn't get a pension. George had no job prospects.
It was a tough moment for George and he had to be feeling every bit of emotion on Tuesday.
Let us quote Lorraine Michael in her entirety - word for golden word - as she acknowledges George Murphy’s service to his constituents and the people of the province:
Lorraine Michael is a class act.