Danny Williams in 2002

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My Plane ride with him

As our Premier's announcement continues to reverberate around the country I can't help but think back to that day in April 2002, I belive it was, that my wife and I were travelling to Fliorida for a vacation. I saw Mr. Williams in the St. John's airport and I wondered to myself where he would be sitting. With his financial resources, I assumed it would be in Executive class of course. I took my seat on the plane and there was an empty aisle seat next to me for quite some time. I see Danny coming down the aisle and to my surprise he sits down in that empty seat. Well, anyone that knows me understands that I can talk as I have been in sales for 17 years. The other thing is, I am a student of business and genuinely interested in how business people have created their businesses. The next three hours for me were very interesting. I asked him many questions about his career in business and he was very gracious throughout the whole conversation. There are many things he said that day that have stuck with me concerning business but it was his response to my questions about politics that I found just as interesting. If memory serves me right on the date of this encounter it was either rumoured or confirmed that he would be running for politics for the first time very shortly. I could not help but ask him why he would be interested in such a move. I asked him "why would a man with your financial success be interested in running for public office?" He said "because I think I can make a difference".

Since that day I have watched him become Premier and take on some really big challenges. I like many other have been astounded at his energy for the job. There were times when he became a little too bombastic and I felt uncomfortable. I would reflect on that plane ride and realize that he stayed true to his word and tried to make a difference.

Say what you will about the guy, but he did not need to take on this job.

He certainly wasn't perfect but I am glad he took the time to do it.


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Recent comments

  • Ed Dornig
    July 23, 2012 - 06:25

    As an outsider, I watched Danny Williams with great interest. Based on what I could find out about him I felt that he was the best man at the time. From my view, Newfouindland had been 'pushed' around ever since I served in the Navy in Argentia. Standing his ground about 10 years ago regarding the 'oil revenue deal' is just what Newfoundland needed. It sent a message to Canada that; "We're here, we'll work hard and all we want is to be treated fairly." I hope that future leaders of Nfld can pick up the ball and keep it moving forward.

  • Saucy shawn
    June 16, 2012 - 14:47

    You could do nothing but admire him. Compare him to Dunderdale n Grimes, which would you pick. He worked from well before the break of dawn and well beyond the evening news. I know this first hand as a contractor there. He was friendly and cordial to everyone, even when reporters tried relentlessly to tear strips off his back. Funny though, you don't see Dunderdale in the house this week ,just that chesire cat Kennedy. And yet I have yet to see Kathy get grilled over any issues by the press. Is chivalry dead or is she a pitbull and the media is afraid of her. Glad I never voted pc this time around and WON'T be next time for sure....unless Danny returns!

  • Paul G murphy
    December 25, 2011 - 12:43

    when Danny became Premier i can remember the mess he had to contend with in regard to our financial state ,the thing is how fast in time it was corrected ,letting business run the economy for a change it was a completely different approach ,it created an interest in our province that was lacking in regard to the opportunities that opened up for company's.I hope that we can maintain a low level of government and a high involvement of business ,we can honestly say we are better of now then we were ten years ago which in its self such a great accomplishment.

  • Carl
    November 06, 2011 - 01:00

    "I think I can make a difference". Danny, you not only made a difference, you set new benchmarks in Canadian politics. I think it will be a long time before this moral standard and business competency is paralleled by a Newfoundland leader.

  • Concerned
    October 18, 2011 - 11:27

    I Love Danny Williams and it was a sad day in Newfoundlands History when he stepped down. I cannot help but feel that all of the things that Danny did that we all consider so great (myself included) was only what we deserved to begin with. The biggest issue we have here in NFLD is that we have never had a strong voice before or after Danny, he is the only one that has ever stood for the beliefs of so many Newfoundlanders. I say that we need to elect more individual like this so that our future can be as bright as it was when he was in power. I do not dislike Cathy Dunderdale in fact it is the contrary, yet i cannot help but feel if I were to see her outside her normal working environment I would be uncomfortable on her presence where as with Danny i would not think twice about approaching him in the same given circumstance. NFLD needs more "Danny's". He was so great that by comparison there is no one else that would even compare, is this because of his greatness or the shortcomings of the other Leaders we have followed. We need a leader, to quote Mel Gibson in Braveheart "People will Follow Courage"

  • David
    July 17, 2011 - 18:11

    That he was more competent than any other previous Newfoundland premnier is true, but given the cohort that isn't terribly difficult or flattering a statement.....we've had a very long streak of dumbasses. He was though, just as unproductively egotistical and fatefully full of himself as one other, and just like that JRS era, history will remember it more accurately than anyone still deep under his spell does.

  • Doreen Tobin
    June 14, 2011 - 11:35

    I agree Danny Williams was the best premier we ever had. Too bad he didn't give Federal Politics a try, and we would have him sitting in Steven Harpers chair today. I know he will continue to do good for NL. Happy retirement. You deserve a break!

    • Linda
      July 13, 2012 - 08:52

      Danny is the best of the best . His seat should be in Ottawa.

  • Margaret Pansy Pomeroy
    January 06, 2011 - 11:04

    I guess i can say , Once again thank you Danny Williams, You are a inspriation to all newfoundlanders far and wide cause you had the voice that made the rest of canada listen, we have you to thank for putting nfld on the map, so others can see that it comes from the roots,the money is just a added bonus you just can't survive on bread & water, throw a little oil in the mix and we have plan that comes together in good style...take it to ottawa danny in the next election..its not only up the harbour down the shore but we have the guts to look down from ole smokey...im not a public speaker, but i have a brother that got lots of guts & glory , and a Son that is in Taiwan who is doing what his mother taught him best..never forget where you come from...it's a mothers love, and a family that comes from it's roots with lots of history to back it up ..so it to the top , we will have to meet someday ...

    • shirley dooley
      May 12, 2011 - 04:22

      I agree Danny Williams was the best premier nl ever had. No one knows what the future well bring! but we all know our Danny put nl very high on the map. god bless you Danny and enjoy your retirement. god bless