Mr. Les Benjamin (Regina-Lumsden):
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to join my colleagues from Algoma and Vegreville and others in reminiscing. I have been thinking not only about those still here from the class of '68 but also those that no longer are here.
What made me think about it is that in the spring of 1969 members of the Press Club challenged the House of Commons to a softball game. What they did not know was there were many good country ball players in the class of '68.
Gerry Cobbe, a Liberal member from Portage who is now deceased, played first base. Jack Homer was catcher but he was not in the '68 class. Rocha LaSalle was an excellent glove man and shortstop. I played second base. John Skoberg from Moose Jaw, another railroader and former colleague, played centre field and galloped around catching flies. My colleague from Yorkton-Melville was pitching. In fact he had a no-hitter going for six innings.
The Speaker of the day, Hon. Lucien Lamoureux, was a great baseball fan. He set up a temporary backstop on the front lawn of the Parliament buildings. He always showed up at the games. He stood behind the backstop rooting for the MPs. I want to tell this story of how I got an extra question in Question Period.
I made a circus catch on a foul ball. I was playing second base and I caught it out behind first base. Of course I went ass over tea kettle in the course of doing that but when I got back to the bench Mr. Lamoureux came around and said: "Mon collegue, for that catch you get an extra question in Question Period".
That was in June. In late September or October I was selected by my caucus to ask the lead-off question. It concerned box cars, grain movement and so forth. I put my first question and the two supplementaries we are allowed. Then Real Caouette of the Ralliement Credi-tiste who was sitting over here rose to his feet to ask questions as the lead-off questioner for his party.
I leaped to my feet saying: "Mr. Speaker, point of order". In those days one could interrupt anything with a point of order, even Question Period. I think the rules were better then. I said: "You will recall, Sir, an event that occurred last June and I have a further supplementary question". He smiled and said: "The hon. member for Regina-Lake Centre on a further supplementary question". That is how I got four questions in.
Tbmmy Douglas and Stanley Knowles in particular went nuts trying to figure how the heck I pulled that off until I told them it was on account of a foul ball.
The hon. member for Vegreville, a dear friend and colleague, has mentioned a number of people who used to be here. He was interrupted when he mentioned our good buddy Mark Rose. Mark is now the agent general for British Columbia in London, England.
All of the members who were here at that time have gone on to better and greater things. I think a lot of that was because of the schooling they received in this place.
Sir, it has been an honour and a privilege to serve the people in our constituencies, to serve our country and to battle royal here in a partisan way, democratically. Yet, Sir, you will have noticed it takes a heck of a lot longer, twice as long, when we are being nice to each other than it does when we are fighting over something but that is
June 16, 1993
okay. We do not do this very often, maybe once every four or five years.
In any event it was a wonderful afternoon. All of us appreciate it. Those of us who were picked out and marked on this occasion appreciate it all the more.
I also want to add my personal tributes to the hon. John Fraser, another dear friend and I hope he will be a fellow goose hunter.
Topic: ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic: CLASS OF '68