Here is the full text of MHA Vaughn Granter's tribute to his late wife, Eileen Gibbons, as recorded in the house Tuesday.
Mr. Speaker, I stand in this hon. House to pay tribute to a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and my partner for the past twenty-six years.
On her journey through life, Eileen Gibbons – Miss Gibbons, to all of her students – made a huge impact on the many lives that she touched, including the thousands of young minds she helped mould during her thirty-year teaching career at Templeton Collegiate and G.C. Rowe Junior High.
Her belief in students and her talent to bring out the best of all of them on a daily basis earned her a teaching reputation unparalleled. For Eileen, good was never good enough, and there was always a little bit more she could squeeze from her students.
As one former student described her, “She was a phenomenal teacher and mentor and admired by so many. She took on many roles in her years as a teacher and took so many under her wing as well. Seemed she could never do enough for her students – she was small but mighty.”
Her grasp of the written and spoken word was amazing. Just about now she would be correcting my grammar, correcting my spelling, correcting my voice, enuniciation, and delivery.
I learned much from Eileen over the past twenty-six years, but little did I know the lessons she would teach me over the past six months. She confirmed to me she was the most selfless person I have ever known. The medical staff told me that she cared more for their well-being than she did her own health. She was deeply personal, with a strength, courage and fight like which I have never known. She was steadfast in her belief of family, and if she was your friend – you had a friend for life, with a bond that was secure and unbreakable.
Taken much too early, she will be remembered by her unwavering sense of humour, her beautiful smile and selflessness.
To my butterfly, I love you – always.