Twenty-six years ago, Gary Gosine asked for a recount when his attempt at a seat on the Wabana council seemed to come up short. He won in that recount by one vote.
On Sunday, Gosine had the look of a man who had been through war. And in a way, he has been, and he has emerged victorious in more ways than one.
Conception Bay East-Bell Island MHA David Brazil (left) swears in Wabana Mayor Gary Gosine on Sunday at the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre in St. John’s, where Gosine is recovering from quadruple bypass surgery. Gosine has been mayor of Wabana since 1997. — Photo by Josh Pennell/The Telegram
Gosine was again sworn in as the mayor of Wabana on Sunday — he has been the community’s mayor since 1997 — but it was in a recreation room at the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre in St. John’s, where he is recovering from quadruple bypass surgery.
“The recovery is coming good,” Gosine said from a wheelchair surrounded by friends, family and supporters. “Once I move them legs, life is gonna go on.”
Gosine won the two previous elections by acclamation, but this time, when he was challenged, he found himself hospitalized for part of the campaign. He hit the phones in the hospital lobby and did his campaigning that way.
He won by a healthy margin.
David Brazil, MHA for Conception Bay East-Bell Island, was part of Gosine’s campaign team 26 years ago when he almost didn’t make it in. He swore the recovering mayor in on Sunday.
“I think it’s unique for this province, not only for the town of Wabana, to have a mayor sworn in at a health institute,” he said.
Brazil spoke with admiration of Gosine and his dedication.
”You ask any politician at any level — municipal, provincial or federal — in this province, and they’ll know the name Gary Gosine and know what it stands for. And it stands for commitment, and doing what’s fair, and asking everybody else to treat people with respect.”
While Gosine does have a bit of a road to recovery ahead of him, a strong political career is waiting for him when his own health rebuilds.
“I guess it says something about the longevity of me,” he said.
During his campaign, he said he heard others say that the people of Wabana needed a change. He begged to differ.
“I knew they didn’t need a change. I just knew they needed the voice, and the voice is not gonna die.”