By Diane Crocker
Star Staff Writer
CORNER BROOK Jordan Stringer had the opportunity to meet and chat with Jack Layton a few years ago in Stephenville.
At the time Stringer, a local teacher and one of the organizers of the Stage West Theatre Festival, was working on Holly Pike’s election campaign and he talked with the former leader of the New Democratic Party, who died Monday after a battle with cancer, about student loans and the state of secondary education in the country.
Stringer said he’s been a supporter of Mr. Layton’s since he was old enough to recognize who he was and what he stood for and feels honoured to have met him. It’s because of the respect Stringer has for Mr. Layton that he has organized a memorial vigil in his honour.
The memorial will take place Friday at 9 p.m. in the gazebo area of the Majestic Lawn.
“I think Jack represents ultimate equality,” said Stringer. “And I think really that’s what this country’s about and I think that’s what politics should be about. I think anybody who enters politics should enter it for the right reasons and it seems that Jack really understood that with power comes responsibility.
“For me he was the ultimate representation of goodness, and kindness and helping out your fellow man. And really that’s what this country is all about that’s what makes us stand out on the world map.”
Stringer said the memorial vigil will be very informal. He said someone has volunteered to read Mr. Layton’s now famous farewell letter. He’s also invited local politicians to attend along with representatives of local labour organizations, the Corner Brook Women’s Centre and Corner Brook Pride. Stringer said these individuals will also be welcome to speak.
The City of Corner Brook lowered its flags to mark the passing of Mr. Layton.