It was June 1978. I was then Tory MP Heath Macquarrie's research assistant and we were sitting in Alexandria, Egypt in a meeting with the now late president Anwar Sadat and then vice-president Hosni Mubarak. Mr. Macquarrie turned to me and asked if I had any questions for the Egyptian President. This was the measure of the man who would allow his staffer an opportunity to dialogue with important international personalities. Many such occurrences were to ensue during my working relationship and later personal friendship with Heath Macquarrie, who died last week at the age of 82 after a long and courageous battle with prostate cancer. Sen. Macquarrie, first elected in 1957 and re-elected for the next eight general elections, was summoned to the Senate by then prime minister Joe Clark in 1979 and retired in 1994. He was an author, a columnist an expert in international relations and a man of wit and charm. He always urged me to keep an open mind on international relations. He loved to say, "Nixon went to Moscow and didn't become a Communist. Did he?" He also liked to say, "If you don't talk to your enemy, who are you going to make peace with?" Many people were always intrigued that despite his birth in the small village of Victoria, P.E.I., Sen. Macquarrie acquired vast knowledge and deep understanding of international affairs to become one of Canada's respected observers of foreign affairs. He developed an intense interest in the Middle East and foreign affairs ministers, from Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, Alta.) to John Manley (Ottawa South, Ont.), always paid heed to his advice. Although he travelled to many parts of the world and met many world leaders, including then India's prime minister Indira Ghandi and numerous Caribbean leaders, the Middle East remained his preoccupation. During his regular visits to the region he met with many Israeli leaders, including David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Shamir, but called Israel's former foreign affairs minister Abba Eban, "the most impressive of all." He was always impressed by the late King Hussein of Jordan. He met twice with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In his autobiography, Red Tory Blues, published in 1991, Sen. Macquarrie wrote of Arafat: "From the beginning I was deeply impressed by the immensity of the task he faced in trying to lead a scattered and deprived people. Denied the normal attributes and institutions of statehood and the benefits of basic human rights, land, dignity, freedom, and security, Arafat and his people have survived. It is a great and splendid example of the triumph of will and the strength of hope." Sen. Macquarrie championed the two-state solution in the Middle East -- an Israeli and a Palestinian state, as recommended by the United Nations. During his lengthy Parliamentary career his keen interest in international affairs took him as a delegate to numerous sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations as well as serving as Parliamentary secretary to the Secretary of State for External Affairs during the Diefenbaker government in 1962. He urged Canada to join the Organization of American States and was a fervent supporter of closer ties with the Commonwealth Caribbean. In this regard he did his part by supplying ample supply of rum whenever one dropped by his office. He was instrumental in Canada retaining its ties with Cuba in the face of U.S. pressure to impose a blockade of the island nation. While he never revelled in partisan politics, he was a fierce nationalist. Other than Progressive Conservative prime minister Sir Robert Borden, Liberal prime minister Lester Pearson was his hero. On the domestic front, he was a staunch believer in the role of government and opposed to leaving the fate of citizens to the vagaries of the free market. He, among others like Joe Clark and Flora Macdonald, came to be known as the "Red Tories." He was one of the three caucus members to support Brian Mulroney in 1976 but backed Joe Clark in 1982. When I once asked him why, he replied that he had gotten to know the men better and therefore made a better choice. In the preface to his book Red Tory Blues, Sen. Macquarrie wrote "The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada will not regain public approval by a neoconservative posture. Rather it must recall that government should do most for those who most need help." He remained faithful to Robert Stanfield and always hurtful of the closeness of the 1972 election, which the PC Party lost by a mere two seats. He also became the PC Party's unofficial historian and rum-sessions in his office were always full of stories and anecdotes. One of his well-known jokes was that his greatest fear was to end up in "a rumless state" at a political convention. His candid recollection in the Red Tory Blues reads: "Not long before the 1963 election, the annual meeting of the PCs had passed a motion of confidence in the leader. But what delegates said in the meeting-room was often quite different from what they said in their own rooms or in the bars of the Chateau Laurier. One newsman described the annual meeting as a hotel full of hypocrites." During his retirement from the Senate he regularly contributed to various newspapers, including to The Hill Times. He was The Times' "Campaign Doctor" in the last election and offered his own historical, gentlemanly take on Campaign 2000, often with clarity and wit. Sen. Macquarrie helped project the best of Canadian values onto the international scene while at the same time serving his constituents diligently for which they re-elected him eight times to the House of Commons since his first election in 1957. Sen. Macquarrie, born on Sept. 18, 1919, died on Jan. 2, 2002 in Ottawa. He is survived by his wife Isabel and three children, Heather, Flora and Ian and seven grandchildren. He did not want a funeral, but did want to have his ashes scattered in Victoria Harbour in Prince Edward Island where he swam. The family is planning to hold a memorial service soon in Ottawa.