The contribution of Errol Black to Canada, Manitoba and the City of Brandon is one that few can ever hope to equal. It is a contribution that extends over many decades and covers a wide array of activities. I always admired Errol’s sense of commitment, skill and industry. Errol’s goal was to make the world a better place than he found it and this testifies to the firm community principles that always influenced his life.
I recall how Errol contributed so much to the rebuilding of the Manitoba NDP after the defeat of the Ed Schreyer government in 1977: he developed creative methods of engagement to do this. Errol would always share his thoughts with me and contributed so much to the ideas that would lead to our return to power after the election in 1981. As premier of Manitoba, I was privileged to have him as a friend.
Errol was always exceedingly well-informed, well-prepared and never allowed ego to influence his thoughts. Decency and integrity always ruled his actions. He was always practical and lucid in his verbal presentations. Building a better community that respected and valued all people was his life’s work.
Errol was the embodiment of the finest qualities: passionate, dedicated, energetic, imbued with a set of strong values and a sense of sound judgment, a believer, a well-grounded optimist; these are but some of the adjectives and phrases that can comfortably be attached to his life’s contribution. Errol would lead by example. He did not preach. He did. He acted. He was fearless. Errol believed in his causes and advanced them with determination, eloquence and grace. Errol would always balance the present with the future, leading gently but firmly, advancing those social issues that are on the cusp of progress. Errol was a model of conviction, of passion and of commitment.
Errol Black was always well-prepared to pursue the attainment of social justice and greater opportunity to the less well off in society. He always fought for an extension of greater equality in society. He always fought to benefit all people. Errol Black treated life as a privilege and always used his time wisely. He dearly loved his wife Margaret, his family and his community. Manitoba and Canada are better for his life and for his work.
I am proud of our friendship. Adele and I deeply regret his passing.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 7, 2012