I lost a dear friend this weekend. Someone who inspired me to become a better public servant, to give back to my community, and who taught me that lunch always tastes better with a nice glass of sauvignon blanc. Arthur Kroeger, the "dean" of Canada's public service, passed away at age 75 on Friday May 9th. I haven't seen him since our last one of "our lunches" in February, but I am so honoured and touched that a man as prominent and well-loved and respected as he took the time to chat with lil' old me. I could talk to him about anything - career, education, food, wine, and the prominent issues of the day with ease - even though he already had the inside scoop on everything, he'd let me talk, ask me a few strategic questions, and right away we'd be at the heart of the issue. He had this incredible ability to make everyone feel at ease, and I don't want to list off his contributions to the Canadian public service because it would be a disservice to his memory to exclude anything.
I will just say that we are a much better public service in this country because of the contributions of this exceptional individual. I'll miss you Arthur.