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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
November 9, 2016

Harry Paine

Madam Speaker, it is my honour today to say a few words about my dear friend, Mr. Harry Paine.

With an activist resume that spans his entire adult life, Harry has been a political father figure to me and hundreds of others in our Wolseley community and beyond. To say that he has been part of history is no overstatement. During the civil rights movement in the United States, Harry actually sat right next to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. at organizing meetings that led up to the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

It was music, that sweet folk music, that actually brought Harry to Manitoba. In 1974 when Wolseley resident Mitch Podolok had this crazy idea for a summer folk festival, he tapped his friend and master chef Harry Paine to run a massive outdoor kitchen that would feed all of the entertainers and volunteers for free. Forty-three years later, the Winnipeg Folk Festival and its famous kitchen are still going strong and Harry has been a part of it every single year.

Harry's other volunteer contributions to our community are quite simply too numerous to name, but here are just a few highlights: past president of the Manitoba Society of Seniors; chairman of the Broadway Seniors' Resource Council; he served on the boards of the Manitoba Council on Aging, the Daniel McIntyre-St. Matthew's Community Association, the Transportation Options Network for Seniors and the Arts Accessibility Network for Manitoba; all of which made him a deserving recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Make a Difference Community Award.

An unwavering socialist, Harry has taken up many fights and many causes for other people. All of us who have benefitted from his efforts stand with him now as he wages his personal struggle against pancreatic cancer.

No matter how that battle turns out, it is my deep honour to announce the creation of the Harry Paine Community Scholarship, which I will present to a junior high school student at Gordon Bell High School every year from now on. The scholarship will go to students who are connecting with seniors to make the world a better place.

Thank you, Harry, for bravely joining us here in the gallery today, for all that you have done, and for all that you have inspired the rest of us to do in these very difficult times. Thank you, my friend.