A plain-speaking, shoot-from-the-hip politician who briefly led the province as premier has passed away.
Early this morning, our province lost a political giant. Beaton Tulk was a friend and a true Liberal. His unwavering devotion to this province will live on. My thoughts & prayers are with his friends and family as they celebrate his life. #nlpoli #GovNL
— Premier of NL (@PremierofNL) May 23, 2019
Beaton Tulk, who held the premier’s position for a few months spanning 2000-2001, lost his battle with cancer this morning at the age of 75.
Tulk, a teacher by profession, was born in Ladle Cove and was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1979 as the Liberal Member for Fogo. He held the seat until 1989 when he was defeated by PC member Sam Windsor, but was re-elected in 1993.
He served in cabinet as the Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods and Minister of Development and Renewal in the 90s.
Tulk, who was Deputy Premier under Brian Tobin, became premier in October of 2000 when Tobin, who had previously served as an MP, returned to federal politics. He held the Premier’s position until a contentious Liberal Leadership convention that saw Roger Grimes selected as Premier in February of 2001.
He recently wrote a memoir which he discussed on the VOCM Morning Show, the proceeds of which were donated to the Kids Eat Smart Foundation.
We are so deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Beaton Tulk. He and Mrs. Tulk are kind supporters of KES Foundation NL as they have chosen to donate proceeds from his book royalties in support of Breakfast Clubs in NL. Sincere condolences to Mrs. Tulk and his family. pic.twitter.com/353md0j7uo
— Kids Eat Smart (@KidsEatSmartNL) May 23, 2019
Tulk spoke fondly of his upbringing in Ladle Cove when discussing his memoir A Man of My Word on the VOCM Morning Show with Paddy Daly in May of last year. He says it was a “cocoon” and enforced in him the values of taking care of others and hard word.
Tulk Led Province Through Important Transitional Time: Tobin
Former Premier Brian Tobin who passed the torch on to Beaton Tulk says he was the right person at the right time to take the party and the province through an important transitional time.
He says the caucus accepted that Tulk was the right person to keep government focused on the work of the people and capable of keeping the team together.
Tobin shares the observation that Tulk was a “giant of a man” who some might be excused for believing he was a “bull of a person,” but Tobin says you couldn’t find a “kinder, gentler, more caring person, than Beaton.”
“Gruff, with a Heart of Gold” Remembers Roger Grimes
Former Premier Roger Grimes says Tulk came across as gruff, but had a “heart of gold.”
Grimes says with Beaton you got the “real deal,” there were no back doors with him and what you saw is what you got.
He says Tulk would sometimes show a gruff exterior but behind all that bravado was a real softy who would give you the shirt off his back.
Danny Williams Remembers Tulk as Passionate, Tireless Advocate
Former PC Leader Danny Williams is remembering his good friend, Beaton Tulk, as a “passionate and tireless advocate” for the people of the province.
Williams acknowledges that while they came from opposite sides of the political aisle, Tulk was much admired and respected.
Williams says they became good friends over the years and he will remember him as someone whose public service had a great impact on the province.
He offered his deepest condolences to Tulk’s loved ones and his wife Dora.
Lieutenant Governor Shares Condolences
Lieutenant Governor Judy Foote also shared her condolences. She says it is a loss not just for family and friends, but the entire province. Foote credits Tulk for making a difference in the lives of many, through his roles as teacher and politician.
Foote says he will be remembered as kind, compassionate, and a source of strength for many.
Integrity, Humility, and a Sense of Humour: Crosbie
PC Leader Ches Crosbie says Beaton Tulk served the province with integrity and humility, while always maintaining a sense of humour.
In offering his condolences to the family, he said Tulk’s legacy is “one of public service while never forgetting one’s roots.”
I consider myself a lucky man to be able to consider Beaton Tulk a friend. Funny, principled, gregarious and patriotic. I always enjoyed our conversations and laughs. Our province lost a good one today. Rest In Peace Beaton. @nlliberals pic.twitter.com/4u2xAQrInt
— Andrew Parsons (@Andrew_Parsons1) May 23, 2019
The management and staff of The Rooms regret the news of the passing of former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Beaton Tulk.
Beaton Tulk served as Premier from 2000 to 2001. We send our condolences to his family & friends.
Image: from The Rooms Provincial Archives, A 74-93 pic.twitter.com/r9pDFqu8H3
— The Rooms (@TheRooms_NL) May 23, 2019