Dignitaries, family remember Lougheed at memorial
Published Friday, September 21, 2012 6:48AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 21, 2012 11:21PM EDT
Canadian dignitaries joined family and friends of the late Peter Lougheed Friday in paying tribute to the former Alberta premier at a state memorial in Calgary’s Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Alberta Premier Alison Redford were among those who paid their respects to Alberta's 10th premier, who died on Sept. 13 of natural causes. He was 84.
“He brought to the job intelligence, integrity, energy, a clear and practical sense of direction and an unwavering commitment to what he believed to be a wider public interest,” Harper said.
The prime minister also credited Lougheed for spurring economic growth, diversifying industry and developing the oilsands.
“Those who say Alberta casts a longer shadow within confederation as a result of Peter Lougheed’s years of service are not wrong,” Harper said.
Lougheed, who was a Calgary lawyer before he entered politics, ushered in more than 40 years of Progressive Conservative rule in Alberta when he became premier in 1971, ousting the Social Credit party.
“His government’s achievements were transformative,” Redford said of Lougheed. “He is the architect of the province that we all call home.”
Redford also paid tribute to Lougheed’s family.
“On behalf of the people of Alberta, I want to thank you for sharing him with us,” she said.
Lougheedis survived by his wife, their four children and seven grandchildren.
His son Stephen was the only family member who spoke at the memorial.
“My dad was always a team player, and the team that he was most proud of was his home team – his family,” he said. "Dad always made time for each of us, one on one."
The memorial began with a video montage of Lougheed’s life and career, showing photographs, video clips and sound bites, after RCMP officers carried in an Alberta and a national flag to raise on stage.
CBC analyst Rex Murphy, former MP Conservative Lee Richardson, and Jim Dinning, who worked under Lougheed, were among the speakers.
The memorial also included performances of “Someone to Watch Over Me” by trumpet soloist Jens Lindemann, and “O Mio Babbino Caro” by a Calgary Opera vocalist.
A private funeral was held for Lougheedon Thursday in Calgary.