I am a longtime serving member of the provincial public service, but I will always remember Bill Hogan as the only department minister - until several months ago - in my 25 years who has ever visited my workplace.
Upper management of whatever political stripe would come to Goose (Bay) for business with the local council, and invariably pass on visiting the front lines. Airline schedules, I suppose.
Mr. Hogan, however, clearly knew people and how they ticked. He made a point to come to our tiny regional premises and visit each person's work space, sit down, and say, "I'm Bill Hogan. How're ya? Who are you and where are y' from? What do you do?"
I don't recall Mr. Hogan's politics, that wasn't important. What mattered was that he showed us we mattered. I believe he was genuinely interested.
I have a standard issue older oak chair for visitors - probably a USAF cast-off from the rough and ready days when Ernie McLean set up the office in the 80s. I value it for its craftsmanship, sturdiness and its connection to Goose Bay's past. It's the one Bill used, and so, I like to refer to it as 'Bill Hogan's chair." Of course, nowadays this reference is often met with puzzlement.
Bill was a good boss. My warmest wishes to him.
- Michael Kearney writes from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador