Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to my former seatmate Senator David Braley.
When I was first appointed to the Senate I had the good fortune of being seated next to David.
When I took my seat next to him, we kind of sized each other up. We couldn’t have been a more unlikely pair, but we soon realized how much we had in common despite our different backgrounds.
We had many heartfelt discussions about our roles in the Senate. He took the time to teach me valuable lessons that have served me well.
David was a humble and down-to-earth man who every sitting day would say to me, “Time for my glass of milk. Watch my seat, Salma.” I would joke with him, and he would chuckle so much that Senator Jaffer asked me one day, “What do you say to Senator Braley? I have never seen him laugh that much.”
I later learned about all the amazing charity work he quietly did. After I got to know David, he shared his childhood story with me. What I heard shall remain private. They were shared in confidence. My admiration for him grew even more when I realized all the obstacles that he had faced.
The level of success David had, most people will never achieve that in a single lifetime.
David, I hope, wherever you are, you’re enjoying a glass of milk, looking down on all the lives you have touched. I was fortunate to have you guide me, and I will never forget the most valuable lesson you taught me: “Salma, don’t speak all the time, or people will get used to the sound of your voice and stop listening.”
Today, I speak to remember you, David. May you rest in peace and joy, my dear friend and mentor.