Vince Murray, the founder and first President of the Canadian Peace Officers Memorial Association (CPOMA), and an activist with OPSEU/NUPGE has passed away, leaving a strong legacy for all of Canada's peace officers.
Ottawa (21 Sept. 2014) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is mourning the passing of Vince Murray, a man who had dedicated much of his life to defending the rights of Canada's peace officers.
"Vince was a remarkable man," said NUPGE National President James Clancy. "He dedicated much of his life to winning our country's peace officers the recognition and respect they deserve."
A long journey to win recognition for fallen peace officers
"Before Vince and the CPOMA, the public acknowledgement of those peace officers who had died on duty was as silent as the graves in which they lay," said Chair of CPOMA's Awards Committee, and a friend of Vince's, Stephen Tilley.
"He gave them a voice through his own arguments and petitions. It was not easy — not all were convinced with the certainty possessed by Vince Murray that this was a worthy cause. The obstacles were many and it took much strain and commitment to overcome."
"There were contrary government policy, inter-organizational jealousy, bureaucratic intransigence and more than a couple inflexible individuals — all in the way."
Clancy remembers those years well. "Vince realized that the first step was to build an organization. And build it he did! Today the CPOMA is the premier organization for remembering fallen peace officers. Vince made it happen."
Remembered as a strong-willed and persuasive activist
"He wasn't always diplomatic and there are few indeed who knew him, who never had an argument with him," says Tilley. But Vince was intensely determined to see this through. It was a cause he believed in and pursued unwaveringly.
"He was never cowed by authority or office. Yet he was deeply respectful of the ideals that great institutions were meant to represent."
"Vince was an intense, maybe driven, man when it came to the CPOMA. It was his energy and commitment to that cause, more than that of any other, that made the CPOMA what it is today."
Leaves a legacy for all Peace Officers
Tilley feels that Vince leaves a strong legacy for future generations of peace officers. "We all try to leave some legacy, but few of us can claim anything like a memorial on the site that houses the Parliament of Canada."
Clancy also sees Vince as leaving a lasting legacy. "I can say with absolute certainty that peace officers receive more recognition and respect for the work they do, and the risks they take on our behalf every day, because of the work of Vince Murray.
"Our sincere condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE