Stanfield airport lands Friday
Harper to preside over renaming ceremony
By STEPHEN MAHER Ottawa Bureau
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will land Friday at Halifax International Airport and walk out later from Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport.
Mr. Harper will preside over the renaming of the airport at 2 p.m. at an invitation-only ceremony on the upstairs observation deck.
Mr. Stanfield, of Truro, was premier of Nova Scotia from 1956 to ’67 and leader of the federal Progressive Conservative party from 1967 to ’76. Among the most important Nova Scotia politicians of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the best prime minister Canada never had."
Mr. Harper’s office, which is organizing the event, would not confirm Tuesday that he will be in Halifax to rename the airport, but invitations have gone out. The prime minister is expected to speak Friday night at the annual general meeting of the provincial Tories in Halifax.
In 2005, the airport authority renamed the terminal building for Mr. Stanfield, but on Friday the official name of the entire airport will be changed.
The family is pleased with the decision, said Tom Stanfield, Mr. Stanfield’s nephew, but he said the former premier might not have liked it.
"He probably wouldn’t be too happy with that sort of thing, because he certainly didn’t like to be in the spotlight or recognized in that sort of manner," Tom Stanfield said Tuesday. "But many people who worked with him and worked around him thought this would be a nice recognition of something that happened many years ago, which is the rejuvenation economically of the province."
The president of the Stanfield’s underwear company in Truro said his uncle didn’t like anyone to make a fuss over him.
"He was definitely a private person. He kept public life separate from his private life."
Mr. Stanfield, famous for his self-deprecating sense of humour and his complete lack of egotism, died in 2003. His four children and two stepchildren are expected to attend the ceremony Friday, as well as his widow Anne Stanfield, who lives in Ottawa.
In 1999, readers of The Chronicle Herald voted Mr. Stanfield the Nova Scotian of the Century.
What do you think? The name seems kind of cumbersome to me. "Welcome to Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport!"
Anyone know what the airport was called before "Halifax International Airport"?