Former Newfoundland premier Beaton Tulk remembered as 'political giant'
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Flags at the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature and outside government buildings across the province were lowered to half-mast Thursday in memory of former Liberal premier Beaton Tulk, who died earlier in the day at the age of 75.
Tulk was first elected to the legislature in 1979.
He held several cabinet positions and briefly served as premier when former premier Brian Tobin resigned to seek a federal seat in 2000.
Condolences and fond memories of Tulk were shared widely on social media Thursday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted a message on Twitter, saying Tulk always put people first, whether he was working as a school principal, teacher or premier.
"We’ve lost a great Canadian, and a great Liberal — but his legacy will live on in his many contributions to Newfoundland and Labrador," Trudeau's message read.
Federal and provincial politicians were among those who recalled how the teacher-turned-politician was an excellent storyteller with a deep passion for the province.
Liberal premier Dwight Ball, whose party won re-election on May 16, issued a statement that described Tulk as a friend, a "true Liberal" and "political giant" who was devoted to Newfoundland and Labrador.
"His memoir is a great reflection of the man who wrote it — entertaining, honest, and larger than life," Ball wrote of the late politician's book, "Man of My Word," which was published last year.
"It reveals how Beaton's tremendous sense of humour, his passion for his province, and his loyalty helped him deal with diverse challenges, famous figures and unique circumstances."
The public is invited to pay respects and sign a book of condolences Friday in the foyer of the House of Assembly in St. John's from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tulk's cremated remains will be present, and his family will be in attendance.
The Canadian Press