Senator Jack Austin


Who is this man we praise tonight?
A man who’s gentle, brave and bright.
He gave himself to public life,
To help BC see the light.

We all worked hard to win the fight;
We’d work all day and sometimes night.
The ground was rough, the mood was spite;
The cabinet shuffles gave us quite a fright.

Yet upstream we’d flow to reach the height,
that this man saw, beyond our sight.
He did all he could to make things right,
For which we praise him here tonight.

This poem was dedicated to Senator Jack Austin on the eve of an appreciation dinner

held in his honour, September 22, 1984, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver.











Your parents are facing so very much


Dealing with it is like using a clutch


 First gearing up and then gearing down


Sometimes you smile and sometimes you frown.



First gear, then neutral; second gear, then drive


Bumping along beyond nine to five


They need you for some things and then so much more


Part of you wants to run for the door.



I know it isn’t easy and sometimes it's real tough


At times you feel you’ve about had enough.


Thank you for all the many extras you do


Being daughter and mother and caregiver too.




An extension of the era of one heck of a guy


A son named Justin surfaces and is riding high.


He is leading the way for much needed change


Our country is strong and expanding its range.



Davos and Paris and the Philippines too


There are just so many important things to pursue.


Justin is the phoenix that Canada needs


Implementing change and planting new seeds.



Thank you, Justin, for accepting the call


Speaking with confidence and standing so tall.


You are the man who is leading the way


For Canada to grow better, day after day.




Caring for your parents in their golden age


Is a commitment that is not easy to gauge.


They may need a little; they may need a lot


Like a run on sentence ending in dot, dot, dot.



The needs and the wants change from night unto day


Even from minute to minute, it is hard to really say.


Thank you for giving so much of your self


To help your parents manage their failing health.



Your dedication and commitment during this tough time


As you try very hard to see beyond the blurry line


Is making a difference to your dad and your mom


Who are fortunate to have such a good caring son.


As Memory Fades


With my memory I relight the fire easily;

In my journey day after day,

I can go back to zero, of any story,

if I try hard enough.

With her memory, there is nothing

Nothing to which to return

Because there is nothing, no memory

of anyone or anything.

Now she is all alone, 

even with all of us around her;

she is alone within herself

and doesn’t even know that.

There are outbursts and then silence

Inside those you sense sadness and frustration,

and the emptiness within her touches

all of us right to the core.

I can easily go back to zero

But she is stuck at zero every step of the way;

yet she smiles, she laughs, eats and sleeps

as her remaining days unfold.