It is with great sadness that our city learned that former Winnipeg mayor Bill Norrie passed away on Friday, July 6, 2012, at the age of 83.
The Norrie family will hold a memorial service on Wednesday, July 11 at 1:00 pm at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church. The memorial will be open to the public. Flags at city hall and city facilities will be lowered until sunset on July 11. Winnipeggers are invited to sign a book of condolence which has been placed outside the mayor’s office on the second floor of the council building at city hall. The book is available for signing until July 18. There is also an electronic book of condolence at www.winnipeg.ca.
In his professional life, Mr. Norrie’s only reason for being was to serve the people of Winnipeg. He was Winnipeg’s second longest-serving mayor, first elected in 1979 and serving until 1992. He went on to become Manitoba’s conflict-of-interest commissioner, an honorary consul general for Japan, and chancellor of the University of Manitoba between 2001 and 2009.
He was a great municipal leader because he understood city life and why people live in cities. His vision of strong neighbourhoods is represented by two CORE agreements – unique in Canada – which provided millions of dollars to re-vitalize the inner city.
His deep appreciation that everyone needs to belong and to be included is represented by his untiring commitment to attend countless community events.
His understanding that a city needs to have a sense of pride and place is represented by the legacy of The Forks and the Pan Am Games.
While so many community leaders and politicians debate what should be done or how it should be done, Mayor Norrie’s leadership always started with why it should be done. He always knew that a person who is driven by public interest, and never by self-interest, easily motivates others to follow.
Many people knew Bill Norrie well because he was so personable. No one could be more engaging, have a kinder heart or a greater interest in others.
Mr. Norrie was the longest-serving Board Member of The Winnipeg Foundation.
It is with great respect and affection that we all have admired the profound impact Bill had on the lives of those around him.
The sincere condolences of the Board and Staff of The Winnipeg Foundation and Community News Commons are extended to Helen and the Norrie family at this sad time.
Bill left such a positive mark on this city and in our hearts that he will be forever remembered.