To the Editor,
Len liked cowboy hats that shaded his whole body on a sunny day.
I have known Len and Donna since 1972. I was attracted to his Liberal campaign and his association with Pierre Elliott Trudeau, so I worked on his campaigns to get him elected.
When Len spoke about Canada, people in Kamloops saw kindness in a man whose early life experiences did not treat him so kindly.
Like Mandela, he forgave and moved on to blaze a trail with huge footprints all of us need to find in our life.
Len did not just speak for First Nations, he spoke for everyone with equal vigor.
He gave me a gift three times: his autobiography Breaking Trail and Mack Bryson’s autobiography
A Cowboy’s Life. From reading these two books, one can see why these two men were lifelong friends. The third gift was encouragement to finish my autobiography.
Len and Donna lived in Sahali for a time and from their backyard, Len could see when my 90-year-old father was sitting on the porch just out of earshot.
Len would walk two blocks and spend an hour or more with my father, where they just talked.
Sometimes they would have coffee and other times something stronger, but always they talked, not about Ottawa, but about personal experiences, lives lived and opportunities made and missed.
In Ottawa, Len never lost his gentle nature and respect for the elders.
Someone said at Chief Dan George’s funeral we were fortunate to have such men in our lives.
My wife and I are fortunate to have had Len Marchand Sr. in our life. To Donna and the Marchand family — a life well-lived is never lost.
Judy and I wish to express our sincere condolences for the passing of a good man.