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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 29, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHMIDGE HERALD May 29, 1973- Retired MP casts vote for fishing, farming, and travel Fhoto by Bill Groenen By JIM MAYBIE Herald Staff Writer Deftne R. Gundlock From now on it's going to be a little dryland farming and lots of fishing and camping for Deane Gundlock, former Con- servative member of Parlia- ment for Lethbridge who retir- ed from federal politics last year. He is looking forward to far- ming a section of dryland. No livestock or buildings to worry about, he says, just the land to farm during the summer. That would leave liim free for eight months of the year in which to take up fishing, camp- ing and travelling. Mr. Gundlock has spent 32 of his 58 years serving his fellow man, his community, his pro- vince and his country. He rep- resented the constituency in Olf-awa for 15 years. Camper On his retirement last year Mr. Gundlock converted a van into a camper and he and his wife Olive left for a mile trip which took them across Canada, down to Flor- ida and up the west coast of the United States. Mr. Gundlock was born Aug. II, 1914 at Warner. At the age of two he moved to the U.S. While attending high school and working full-time as a hop at a Denver hotel, lus interest in public life first became aroused. Through his hotel work lie iad frequent encounters with ooliticians. He thought they sad a pretty good life, espec- ially when he got to drive one senator's Fierce-Arrow. He became president of his school's student council when he was a sophomore, an honor almost unheard of. In 1932 he returned to Can- ada and four years later mar- ried Jean Conner, daughter of M. J. Conner, UFA member of the legislature for Warner for 13 years. While working for Mr. young Gundlock re- ceived more backgrounding in politics. In 19-10, at the age of 26, Mr. Giuidloci was elected president of the United Farmers of Al- berta local at Warner, his first public office. In 1946 he be- came a member of the Warner school board, municipal dis- trict council and hospital board, servvig as reeve of the Municipal District of Warner in 1950. He held posts on the var- ious boards and councils until he was elected member of Par- liament in 1958. The 1958 election, he says, was the hardest he ever work- ed in any of the five general elections he entered. But, "A bsdger could have won in the year of the Diefen- baker sweep, he recalls. In Ottawa as a member of the Diefenbaker Conservative team Mr. Gundlock found Its could accomplish more by working quietly. "In order to get anything for your constituency you have to fight with 264 other MPs. When you're after something you keep quiet about it, don't let anybody else know what you're after, and eventually you'll get it." Much more time and effort goes into doing things for indi- vidual constituents than most people realize, he says. -He says the expedited pro- cessing of passporis for consti- tuents, helped straighten out tax problems and troubles as- sociated with veteran's affairs for individual' constituents. He even bailed out a couple of local businessmen when they got into serious fnancial diffi- culties with the governmisnt, he ssys. He fought to get post offices in the constituency. The Water- Ion Park swimming pool was granted because of a favor he did someone in Ottawa, he says. Industry Other recollections of has ef- forts in Ottawa include work- ing to have irrigation companies designated to qualify for Win- ter Works grants, setting up the Farm Credit Corporation and getting the meat packing industry established in Leti- bridge. "Sometimes I had more trou- ble getting things out of the Conservatives than I did the he recalls. The flag and languages bills, which Mr. Gundlock opposed, were the toughest matters with which be bad to contend. Both were eventually passed. He made eight speeches in the Commons during the flag de- bate, he says. Mr. Gundlock claims he never worried about things after they were done. He was disappointed in the outcome of the flag and languages debate but he didn't let that interfere with what still had to be done. As an MP, Mr. Gundlock got in a fair amount of travelling. He visited France, Germany, Switzerland, England, the U.S. and made yearly trips to north- ern Canada. He still has the travelling bug. This summer he plans to get to know Alberta better and in the fall he and his wife are going to head for New Bruns- wick. A born optimist, Mr. Gund- lock keeps looking ahead at the potential of this country. "There's more potential in our country now than there ever was." He says be listened to older people more than the kids of his day and suggested if the youth today would listen more to their elders it might do them some good and save some pro- blems in their later years. In looking over his life, Mr. Gund- lock says he has no regrets. "I'm glad I'm an optimist, it makes things so much he says, "Being an MP is not a thank- less job as some people seem to he says. "It's an honor and privilege to Just be elected. That's thanks before a man even starts. Things that are nice in life can't be bought. "People who think it's thank- less, can't take life too serious- ly. "Be honest and above board and nobody can say anything against you. There were limes when I could easily have pick- ed up through my of- fice but that wouldn't have been honest. "It was a pleasure to repre- sent this constituency. There are other constituencies in this country which it would not have been a pleasure to represent "On the whole the consti- tuents hers are all good, trust- worthy people. They've been good to me and I've never had to crocs any principles to rep- re-ent them." Odd balls He believes there is no finer group of people in any business or profession than the group of 264 MPs. Sure, there are crooks and odd balls, but as a group, they are the finest, he says. "I did my job in Ottawa for the constituency and I was paid for it. The epitomy was the early May testimonial dinner attended by Mr. and Mrs. Die- fenbaker. "A thankless job? No way." Has he bad enough of pubh'c service? "I'm prepared to offer my services if anything comes my way in which I feel I can be of ;