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Opinion

The Joe Clark I know: 48 years of the ‘outrageous fortune’ of politics

By Douglas Roche      

Former Senator Doug Roche talks about his longtime friend, Joe Clark, who celebrates the 40th anniversary this week on becoming prime minister back on June 4, 1979.

Then-prime minister Joe Clark and Doug Roche, pictured in August 1979 in Africa. 'The best of Joe Clark that ought to be celebrated in today’s chaotic world,' writes Mr. Roche. Photograph courtesy of Doug Roche

EDMONTON—When I received an invitation to attend, on June 4, an “Evening to Celebrate the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark” my mind instantly went back to 1971 when I met a gangly, earnest young man working for the Progressive Conservative leader, Robert Stanfield. I had been invited to have lunch with Stanfield in his suite at the Macdonald Hotel in Edmonton. The door was opened by Joe Clark and thus began a relationship that has endured for 48 years through, as Shakespeare would put it, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

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