She said, "No, but we're comfortable."
Still curious, I asked, "Will you get rich?"
Her reply, "No, you don't become rich working for the government, but you can get a small pension and be comfortable."
As time went by, comfortable turned to something else. The old girl lived to be 100, four years longer than her forest ranger. But, this was a time without adjustments or indexing. You opened and ended retirement with the same pension. Life though offered them rewards in other ways. They had unending pride in the land they pioneered. Something about service to the country and making it better for 24 grandchildren.
I imagine that senior public servants in modern days are much the same, happy to build a great land and proud of commendations from the high and mighty. Some may labor for years without notice. Others are more fortunate.
Lee Doney is one example of a loyal public servant who was noticed. He retired in 2004 after more than 30 years of service and Hon. G. Campbell paid this tribute in the Legislature (Hansard, April 27, 2004):
Today I rise to recognize the many contributions of a career public servant, Lee Doney. He's joined today by his mother and his family.
Lee is retiring this year. Certainly, it will be a great loss to British Columbia's public service. . . . He has, in fact, been an exemplary public servant for the last 30 years.
Mr. Doney worked hard for this province. We should hope he remains healthy and isn't forced to take on part time jobs to remain comfortable.
- Recommend this post