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Carmen Corbasson: Eulogy by Councillor Nando Iannicca. Trinity Anglican Church, Port Credit

March 18th, 2012  

 

‘Ike aku, ‘ike mai, kokua aku kokua mai; pela iho la ka nohana ‘ohana.
Translation: Recognize others, be recognized, help others, be helped; such is a family relationship.

 

And for the record, like Councillor Iannicca, Councillor Corbasson is Family to me.

This blog is dedicated to Councillor Carmen Corbasson. Special thanks to Councillor Nando Iannicca.

Note, this transcript contains numerous [inaudible] notations. I did this rather than guess at what Councillor Iannicca may have said.

Carmen Corbasson: Eulogy by Councillor Nando Iannicca. Trinity Anglican Church, Port Credit (9:00 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)


[TRANSCRIPT BEGINS]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH parked opposite Trinity Anglican Church, Port Credit/Mississauga, March 16, 2012

It is Friday, March the 16th, 2012 and I’m parked here opposite Trinity Anglican Church in Port Credit.

And the services have been completed for Councillor Carmen Corbasson.

And I won’t give a complete run-down of everything that happened and everything that I witnessed. I think what I’d rather do at this point is just introduce the eulogy given by Councillor Corbasson’s close friend and colleague, Councillor Nando Iannicca.

Councillor Iannicca gave a superb, superb speech —and good-bye. And —beautifully summarized —just to perfection, what Councillor Corbasson represented.

He basically said it was just the best that we as citizens could hope for in someone who represents us.

[DIP TO BLACK[

Councillor Nando Iannicca about Carmen Corbasson, Trinity Anglican Church, Port Credit/Mississauga, March 16, 2012

—Judy, thank you.

My thanks also to Lisa, Julie, Sebastion and the family. And I’ve been given a handful of privileges in my life but none greater than the one I have now. [inaudible] all of my Council colleagues to express some thoughts about my friend, Carmen Corbasson.

Was Kind. Compassionate. Caring. Comforting. Consoling. Civil. Sympathetic.

Emphatic.

Loyal. Selfless. Proper. Classy.

Dedicated. Hard-working. Committed. Respectful. Humble. Intelligent. Wise. Forgiving. Grateful.

Vibrant.

Humane. Nurturing. Loving.

And if you’re like me, you’re going over the list that I missed! Because that described Carmen Corbasson. The Carmen that we all knew.

I remember first meeting Carmen in 1988 when I was elected a very, very young member of Council. And amongst the many blessings in my life two of them were my executive assistant Brenda Robertson and Carmen, who worked as executive assistants at the time. Carmen, of course, worked for Harold Kennedy.

And they were both caring, compassionate and they were the older sisters that I’ve never had.

They were a real tempering influence. And you need people like Carmen and her tempering influence when some of the other people around the table are [inaudible]. And she does that. She was our steady hand at Council.

I remember one of the endearing traits was any time you met Carmen her first question was, “How’s your family?” “How’s everybody doing?” And she meant it sincerely.

She took on a great fondness for my wife, Ann-Marie, who also loved her dearly, and would remark that I married very well in life. And I agree.

And it was interesting to me that Carmen had some of the attributes that my wife has as well. She also had some French descent in her. I don’t think you knew that. And she also had some Russian descent in her.

And she reminds me of another character that lived in my ward, the Grand Duchess Olga, who was part of the Russian royal family who lived in Ward 7 on Camilla Road.

And the reason she brings Carmen to mind is that she had that same noble pedigree, but a very humble demeanour.

[video-left: Councillor Corbasson at re-opening of Memorial Park, Port Credit September 16, 2006
video-right: Carmen Corbasson at October 4, 2006 Lakeview Ratepayers Association meeting]

And that was our Carmen.

I remember another day when we were sitting at Council Chamber, and much to a lot of people’s surprise —there in Council, any special announcements and Councillor Kennedy said “Yes, [inaudible] I will not be seeking public office again.”

When it concluded, I marched up the stairs and I went right to Carmen’s office. And I said, “Carmen [inaudible]. What a wonderful opportunity for you.”

She was befuddled! She was shocked!

As opposed to the politics that we’re used to today. “Where is Opportunity? What can I get out of this?”, she was “What can I possibly bring?”, “How can I serve?”, “Am I worthy?”

[video-left: March 28, 2007 video of Councillor Corbasson defending the Port Credit Library
video-right: Carmen Corbasson supporting the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, October 28, 2010]

And she carried it for all her years as a public official.

She really was in many ways an anomaly of public life because she is what people would hope politicians aspire to be [inaudible].

MISSISSAUGAWATCH, Trinity Anglican Church, Port Credit/Mississauga, March 16, 2012

[whispering into audio recorder] Iannicca nailed that dead-on. He’s absolutely right.

[video-left: May8, 2007 video of Councillor Corbasson, Enersource debate
video-right: Carmen Corbasson supporting the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, October 28, 2010]

Councillor Nando Iannicca about Carmen Corbasson, Trinity Anglican Church, Port Credit/Mississauga, March 16, 2012

I think George Carlson said it very well when he said, “She was a dove in a sea of hawks.”

[inaudible] tell me if you can picture this. [inaudible] Councillor Carlson, but my view is that, regrettably at times, politics is a combative blood sport. She was our Florence Nightingale.

She was the kindest, most loving nurse you could hope for that said, “There may be a war, but can we have peace as well?” And it’s what she brought to the table more than anything.

In that regard I have another interesting anecdote for you.

It was remarkable to think that I was given the privilege to be a pall bearer. And as I was performing that service, [inaudible] in comes Brad Butt and ex-husband Bill. You know it’s remarkable, they say if you want to test the measure of a woman or a man upon their death, have their foes or their enemies speak to them. To their character.

We would but we can’t find any.

So it is that former political adversaries and an ex-husband are pall-bearers at your funeral. You don’t see that on Reality Television very much.

In terms of moving forward, the last thought that I’d leave with you —a couple of thoughts.

[video-left: May 8, 2007 video of Councillor Corbasson, Enersource debate
video-right: Carmen Corbasson debate regarding Integrity Commissioner, September, 2010]

I remember just before Christmas, Carmen and I were having lunch —amongst others, and she knew that this surgery was coming forward. Had been pending, let’s say, for a while.

And to Julie, to Lisa, to Sebastion —I’ve never told you this but I will share it with you now.

All she could think about was none of the surgery in and of itself as it related to her. It was “I hope it all works out. I hope I come out one hundred percent —for my girls. For Sebastion. For my grandchildren. Nando, that’s what I’m really concerned about.”

[video-left: May 23, 2007 video of Councillor Corbasson, Power Plants debate
video-right: Carmen Corbasson debate regarding Integrity Commissioner, September, 2010]

And of course, I answered, you will be fine.

And even in that moment, where most of us would be wondering what the operation looks like, and you have every right to be selfish, she was not. She thought of others.

My final words, I hope are some words of comfort to a dear friend.

You know it’s interesting [inaudible] that I [inaudible] Sebastion and Carmen longer than anybody here in the room. And in fact I’ll take some credit I think for having introduced them. Sebastion is one of my very dear friends along with Carlo who’s here today and [inaudible] who became known as The Three Amigos during her first election campaign.

And Carmen struck up quite a relationship. And Carmen, as you know Sebastion, was your soul-mate, was your partner.

In trying to comfort Sebastion, Ann-Marie and I had him over to the house with some of his friends. And you can appreciate the first thoughts are shock —that we all had.

Then we turned [inaudible] and Sebastion said something very interesting.

He said, “Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everybody had a little bit of Carmen in them?” [inaudible] question.

[inaudible] and say, “Why? Why does God take the Good?” [inaudible]

In looking back at that, the thought that I leave with you, Sebastion is I think —and this isn’t politics and it isn’t the rhetoric of a politician— the thought that I leave you with and all of you with is let’s take that point and say, “What a blessing that we had her.” Many others did not. And will never have a friend like that.

And to you, Sebastion, you are the man you are because of her.

To her daughters, the legacy that she leaves behind —the children.

So let’s rejoice in her life. God wants good people. He just took one. And let’s hope, and trust, that she quite deservedly rests in peace.

[TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

—Councillor Nando Iannicca
March 16, 2012

Councillor Carmen Corbasson, "She was a dove in a sea of hawks"

 

Comments

One Response to “Carmen Corbasson: Eulogy by Councillor Nando Iannicca. Trinity Anglican Church, Port Credit”

  1. Pat Emmitt on March 29th, 2012 10:18 am

    We still have Carmen’s sign to Re-elect Carmen Corbasson, we were hoping to use it again. She was one in a million. She was in our neighbourhood campaigning in the rain and I told her that my brother died. This was Saturday. She called me Sunday morning to ask me how I was feeling. It was like speaking with your best friend. We will really miss her.
    To her daughters, your Mom was a great person.


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