Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jack's Ottawa memorial

I tried to post this last week, but all the pics got erased (uh, accidentally, by me) while I was working on the draft post on our trip last week. Anyway, I happened to be in Ottawa last week and decided to walk by the little memorial for Jack Layton. Jack was the leader of the official opposition until his death this month.

It was also one of the days that he was lying in state in the Parliament buildings, and there was a very long line-up for the public to get in and pay their respects.

Jack was married to Olivia Chow, a NDP MP who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong as a teenager. Jack spoke some Mandarin, and he and Olivia had quite the love story. He was quite popular with some member of the Chinese-Canadian community, as this banner shows.

The flag on the Peace Tower was at half-mast.

The news media was out in full force... were members of the Canadian public. "Elect more women!" I couldn't agree more.

People left many personal notes.

A teddy bear next to Jack's picture. The colour of the NDP is orange, hence all the bottles of Orange Crush, orange flowers, and such.

I admit to getting a tear in my eye when I saw this message from the cats of Parliament Hill. There is a feral cat sanctuary on the Hill that I love to visit. Dedicated volunteers care for the kitty colony there.

I loved this little kid's drawing of Jack, and the simple message.

You can see the lineup stretching across the front of Parliament to the right and beyond.

Simple but moving.

Someone else was moved to poetry.

There were many flowers and messages of hope.

More kitties missing Jack.

The crowd was quiet and respectful.

You can see part of the long lineup on the horizon over the Centennial Flame.

One chapter closes, another begins. Such is life.

I was quite touched by the messages I read at the site, messages of hope and affection. It would be nice if a little of that rubbed off on every Canadian.


  1. He was very loved. Thanks for doing this post. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x4

  2. It is very sad he didn't live out 20 more years. I was so looking forward to watching what would happen in Parliament this fall.

  3. These are wonderful photos and your comments are really moving. As you know, I was on the Hill a couple of times myself last week but was in a hurry and could only get some fast shots. It is great reading your post and seeing the memorial in more depth. Jack Layton represented hope for better governance to so many of us. It is a very sad loss for Canada. Many thanks.

  4. Anonymous11:44 pm

    This world needs more people like Jack. This was very moving. Thank you for sharing, Natalie.

  5. What appalls me is the comments on many news sites by people who did not support Jack or the NDP. Some of the stuff is really nasty and I guess I shouldn't be surprised by how low some people can sink. I wish our media would do a better job of moderating comments on news stories, or do away with comments all together. All the nasty whackjobs seem to congregate there, under cover of anonymity. I didn't vote for our current PM, but if this had happened to him, neither would I be leaving tasteless comments on news sites!

  6. Evlyn, very well said! Thanks for that.

    CogDis, I sure would like to see more politicians like him. Even if they don't share those political views, the world would be a better place if people were more hopeful and positive, building up instead of tearing down.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!