Lifelong commitment to community

Lifelong commitment to community

By Dan Hays '54

I spent my early school years at Strathcona at its location on Riverdale Avenue. I remember that the school was run by two brothers, Alfred and Albert Howard. Being an only child, I was fascinated by this family dynamic. And then there was my wonderful teacher, Mrs. Dunn. She made a huge impression on me and helped to make my school days enjoyable. She encouraged my sense of curiosity, and I always wanted to learn something new each day. 

I'll confess that I might not have been the smartest kid at university but I successfully obtained my law degree and practiced for 54 years with Macleod Dixon (later incorporated with the international firm, Norton Rose Fulbright). 

During that time frame, I was also privileged to serve in the Senate of Canada for 23 years where I chaired various committees, such as Agriculture, Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment. From 2001-2005, I was Speaker of the Senate, the only Albertan to serve in this role. 

My commitment to community is deep-rooted. Having had the opportunity to live anywhere in Canada and, I suppose, anywhere in the world if I'd chosen to, I always came home to my province of Alberta and to my birth city of Calgary. Law and politics consumed most of my life, but I also followed my father's footsteps and maintained our family farm near Longview until 2000. 

I am now 81 years old and my memory is fading. However, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School has always been a shining beacon so I encourage all students to maintain close ties to the school and to keep school memories alive in their hearts.