Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Council colleagues mourn former mayor

  • Print

Friends and colleagues paid tribute to former Winnipeg Mayor Bill Norrie last week following his death due to respiratory failure.


The longtime River Heights resident July 6  at the age of 83.


Norrie was first elected in 1979 and served as mayor for 13 years until he stepped down in 1992.  


Prior to being elected mayor, Norrie served on municipal council, as a school trustee and a school board chair. After he stepped down as mayor, Norrie was named chancellor of the University of Manitoba in 2001 and served through 2009.


Former St. James councillor Jae Eadie, who served with Norrie on council from 1980 to 1992, called the news saddening and offered condolences to Norrie’s family.


"I knew he hadn’t been well for the last few years, but it always comes as a bit of shock," he said.


Norrie was known for his tenacity and ability to persuade, a combination that led to some interesting debates in council chambers, Eadie said.


"When your arm was being twisted by Bill, it never really felt like it," he said.


Eadie called The Forks one of Norrie’s most enduring legacies.


Eadie worked on Norrie’s executive committee, and was beside Norrie at several meetings in Ottawa with federal ministers to negotiate the project.


Norrie was steadfast in his pursuit to turn the former rail yards into a meeting place, despite the skepticism from the community.


"A lot of people thought it big waste of money and I had a lot of constituents who thought that way," Eadie said, noting he supported the project.


"There was certainly some flak at first, but once the thing got done and people saw the development, people just started crowding down there.


"I don’t think anyone today would say The Forks was a bad idea," he added.


Coun. Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre)called Norrie a mayor everyone could be proud of.


"He had integrity, he was straightforward. He didn’t distort the truth," said Smith, who served with Norrie on council from 1980 to 1986.


"I liked him because I could communicate with him well."


Norrie was an independent mayor who didn’t favour lobby groups or labour unions, Smith said.


"He took an individual look at something and gave his sincere opinion,"  he said.


"He was intelligent. He looked at issues at resolved them and was open to everybody. He was a gentleman."


A public memorial service for Norrie was scheduled for July 11 at 1 p.m at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church.

— With files from Matt Preprost

danielle.finch@canstarnews.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

This Just In Twitter bird

Readers‘ Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

Make your choice in the Canstar Community News‘ Best of Winnipeg Readers‘ Choice Awards

Vote Now

Poll

Do you think cameras should be allowed in Manitoba courtrooms?

View Results

View Related Story