After each of the party leaders took their good-natured shots at the man who had reported on them for years, we all listened as Coyle spoke about the power of words and of story to bring people together. Speaking about how political views are often forged at a young age, he recounted stories from his childhood. He recalled growing up in a tight-knit community, with Irish immigrant parents who never made it past the seventh grade, but who worked hard to build a life for him and his siblings. He concluded that his views were very much informed by the fact that strong public institutions, such as libraries and a system of public education, were instrumental to his ability today to make his living playing with words and telling stories. As he recounted some of the more touching vignettes, I looked around to see cabinet ministers and party leaders wiping tears from their eyes and it hit me – there are not a lot of people who will ever have the opportunity to stand in a room with some of the most powerful individuals in the province and to see them as regular people who are moved by a touching story. Interns are pretty lucky.
The other thing I realized at this farewell party was just how much I am going to miss coming in to work at the legislature every day. Listening to Jim Coyle speak about how lucky he felt to have worked at Queen’s Park for so many years, and how much he missed it now that he was gone made me realize how difficult it will be for us to leave when the internship is over. Again, interns are pretty lucky.