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Prince Philip

 On Friday April 9th, I spoke in the Manitoba Legislature in response to the Premier's statement on the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, in 2010, when the Queen and Prince Philip were visiting Manitoba, there was a reception at Government House. As Leader of the Liberal Party at the time, Naomi and I were invited guests. At the reception, the Queen went around one side of the room, and Prince Philip, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, went around our side of the room, and we were lucky enough to have a chance to meet him.

      Prince Philip was an environmentalist and one of those involved in the founding of the World Wildlife Fund. In 1961, he became president of the British National Appeal, the first national organization in the World Wildlife Fund family. The World Wildlife Fund has since become one of the most important environment organizations on our planet. I have a personal connection to it because my daughter Pauline and her partner Roger both worked for many years with the World Wildlife Fund in Laos, and I got a chance to learn from them of the amazing contri­butions of this organization.

      I became interested in birds early on in my life, and one of the books I was given when I was about 15 was a book titled Seabirds in Southern Waters, written by Prince Philip and published in 1962. Not well-known, Prince Philip was a very talented photo­grapher. He'd taken many photos of seabirds, from albatrosses to shearwaters, taken during expeditions on the Royal Yacht Britannia. I was entranced. But it was not until many decades later that I had a chance to see albatrosses in New Zealand and many other seabirds in the Galapagos. Thank you, Prince Philip, for your book and your inspiration.

      Notable as well, among Prince Philip's achieve­ments, was his attention to young people. In 1956 he founded the Duke of Edinburgh awards, which recognize youth and young adults for completing a  series of activities, including volun­teering in physical activities and practical and social skills and in personal interests and in completing an expedition.

      And now, affiliated with the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award association, there are organiz­ations in 144 countries. What started in 1956 in the United Kingdom is now a global effort to support and empower young people.

      Thank you, Prince Philip, for all you have done. Though much of your efforts have been in the shadow  of the Queen, your own accomplishments in ad­vancing environmental concerns and in helping young people have been outstanding.

      Thank you. Merci. Miigwech.



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