Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, joining with the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) in paying tribute to one of the members of this house who had endeared himself to all his fellow members, no matter in what part of the house they sat, I wish to emphasize particularly one aspect of his life which impressed itself not only upon those who knew him intimately but upon the whole country. If there was one word more than any other which will always be associated with the memory of the late T. L. Church- or Tommy Church, as he was known to everyone-that word is friendship. All through his life he followed the injunction of St. Luke: Make to yourself friends.
I doubt if any Canadian ever had more personal friends. It is certain that no Canadian ever knew as many people by their first names. He had an extraordinary memory, but that memory was not a mere device by which he sought recognition from others. It was a part of his interest in other people, in the human beings whom he knew. '
My own friendship for Tommy Church goes back a great many years. I knew him first when I was a boy in Toronto playing games. He was interested in everyone who was on the track team, who played football or hockey, or other games of the kind. He was interested in people.
I well recall the kindly and generous things he used to do for young people who came to the city of Toronto for the first time.
I know that many people who occupy positions of responsibility, in his own home community and in other parts of the country as well, owed to Tommy Church the opportunity to make a good start in life.
Mr. Church knew people of all ages and of every walk in life. It was all a part of that deep affection and concern for all he met. During the first world war, when he
was mayor of Toronto, 1 think he saw every train that left with men who were going overseas. I am sure he met every train coming back that carried servicemen- wounded, on leave, or about to be demobilized. He was in all reality what he was so often described as-the soldier's friend. That friendship was extended particularly to wives and children of the men who did not come back, and to those in difficult circumstances who found not so easy the adjustment to life when they returned.
As has been said by the Prime Minister, Mr. Church loved Toronto. In fact, throughout Canada his name was symbolic of Toronto. If he spoke in this chamber of the city council, of the harbour, of the general hospital, of the Canadian national exhibition, we all knew, and we were intended to know, that he was speaking about the Toronto city council, the Toronto harbour, the Toronto General hospital or the Toronto exhibition. He would have been surprised if anyone suggested that they were not the best in Canada. That did not mean that he was restricted in any way in his views as a Canadian, but his first loyalty was to the city in which he was born and brought up, and to which he had contributed so much.
But he had infinitely wider interests, and I think it is proper at this time to recall that along with Sir Adam Beck he did perhaps more than any other single man in Toronto to bring to reality the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission, which has been of such great advantage to the people of that province.
His friendships-and it is by those that he will be so well remembered here and elsewhere-were built on an unselfish foundation of abiding and real'interest in the welfare of all with whom he came in contact. As has been said already, he was a man of strong beliefs. At a time when it may be helpful that people of strong beliefs do adhere to their principles, he left no doubt as to where he stood on any subject in which he had some interest.
Mr. Church believed in his own city first. He believed in Canada. He believed in the great and continuing purpose of the British commonwealth and the empire. He believed that Canada's full growth as a nation, Canada's greatest opportunities in the years ahead as a sovereign state, lay within that partnership in whose association we had grown to nationhood and in which he saw the greatest future for the years ahead. He certainly did not fail to express that belief on any single occasion when the opportunity presented itself.
Mr. Church did an infinite number of kindly things which meant much to many people. I for one shall never forget the scene in St.
James cathedral in Toronto and at the cemetery where people stood with tears streaming down their faces as they remembered the man they loved, as they remembered perhaps in many cases the things that he had done in an unselfish way to help them along the road to life.
Tommy Church was one of those rare beings to whom these words of Alexander Pope apply in their full meaning:
Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end,
Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend.