Hon. Erik Nielsen (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence):
Mr. Speaker, with the death of Lieutenant-Colonel David Vivian Currie, Canada loses one of her authentic heroes. Parliament mourns the loss of a faithful servant of the House where he served valiantly as Sergeant-at-Arms for 17 years.
His sympathy and consideration were experienced over the years by scores of Members of Parliament, both old and new. He had a special place in his heart for new Members, and he went out of his way to initiate them discreetly in the mysterious and sometimes obscure rituals of the House of Commons.
He was an outstanding soldier in the very best sense of the word. Dedication, loyalty, and integrity were his watchwords. Following the war, Colonel Currie moved to Baie Comeau in the pulp and paper business where he remained until 1953, before returning to Montreal. He maintained his interest in military affairs to the end of his life, and was Chairman of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association headquartered in London, England.
In May, Colonel Currie had an audience with Her Majesty and the Queen Mother at Buckingham Palace. He was accompanied by his wife, Isabel, and 15-year old grandson.
He was of that authentic band of heroes which included Billy Bishop, Barker, and Collishaw in World War I, and Cecil Merritt, Paul Triquet, John Foote, Smokey Smith, Fred Tilston, and John Mahony in World War II. Hon. Members will have noticed that those Canadian names were all holders of the highest award for gallantry-the Victoria Cross. These were in addition to countless others, many of them unhonoured and unsung. His courage and gallantry were of the rare kind which places country above self.
Our hearts go out to his widow and family.
As a person and in his career, Colonel Currie showed all the qualities of a Canadian dedicated to his country. In wartime and in peace, he understood the vital importance of individual freedom.
To the Parliament of Canada, he added his integrity and dignity as the Sergeant-at-Arms of this House. As a man and as a soldier, he won the respect of his colleagues and fellow citizens. He lived in Baie Comeau for several years after the war and later on in Montreal.
On behalf of the Government and all our colleagues in the House, I wish to extend our sincere condolences to his family.
Topic: STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic: THE LATE LT. COL. DAVID CURRIE, V.C.