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Former prime minister John Turner talks to grandson’s Form 5 class

What could be a better way to make “curricular connections” to a unit on government? Form 5 boys are incredibly fortunate that classmate Dylan Turner’s grandfather is none other than former prime minister John Turner.

img_1719caleytaylorKnown as “Big J” to his family, Turner entertained student questions in Weston Hall on Oct. 11. Turner’s association with Upper Canada College is deep. His three sons are Old Boys, including Dylan’s dad David ’87, Andrew ’90 and Michael ’84. As well, his other three grandsons are also current students, Jack, Luke and Robertson.

When asked what he’s most proud of, he said his family and wife Geills who has always been “the driver.” The hardest part of the job? “Being loose and relaxed twenty-four hours a day with so many people who’ve got so many things on their mind.” He also spoke about accomplishments including tax and bail reform, as well as establishing the world’s first department of consumer affairs. He also managed to surprise the students with some candid anecdotes about former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

“Democracy doesn’t happen by accident,” he told the students. “Democracy means give back. Use your talents. Get involved in the process.” This important lesson couldn’t have come from a more authoratative source.