As many of my followers know, I was rather saddened when Jack Layton died only a couple of months ago (Aug 22, 2011). He had been the leader of our our New Democrat Party (NDP) in national politics. He had been a very personable man, who had been well known for standing up for the rights of everyone, and doing so in such a way that was not overbearing, but encouraging. I wrote about his death when it happened (G-Corner). Although I was not able to attend his funeral, I did get a chance to head down to our city hall (Nathan Phillips Square) where the people of Toronto left a memorial to his name.
When I went down, a couple of days after Mr. Layton died, there were probably just a couple of squares that has been etched in chalk with notes to the leader of the NDP. I did not have my camera, but I remember finding one of the many hunks of chalk that had been left for the purpose, and writing my personal note. I knew that he had been popular, but I did not expect the tribute to go as far as it did. Today I found an email from a coworker that had been sent to me a few weeks ago, but which I only just opened. It contained the picture at right, of the many written testimonials. I have since found that it was one of many pictures taken by Jackman Chiu (and the photos from several days are on flickr). It was quite an impressive outpouring of emotion from the people of our city.
And, then as expected: the rain came and washed it all away. Strangely, that also seemed appropriate. Mr. Layton’s effect on us was not etched in stone, but in our hearts… which I think is more lasting.