Mirror mirror in the Hall, who's most powerful of us all?

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
The new King in the Enchanted Forest used organic joyous apple juice to rid himself of Snow White

It's late into the evening as I'm writing this, but I have just come home from the Judy Rogers Tribute dinner where a little over 300 people attended last night. Judy Rogers was the City Manager when I worked at the Mayor's Office at Vancouver City Hall.

The fact that so many people showed up last night to pay tribute to the City Manager that Mayor Gregor Robertson fired last December is a testimony to what Judy represented.  The evening was filled with both laughter and tears, and it was like old home week for me. It was a chance to catch up with folks that I haven't seen in a while, and the night was truly enjoyable.

The best part of the evening had to be the skit that the corporate management team traditionally pulls together for "retirement" parties. This one had a theme of Snow White (aka Judy Rogers) and the seven dwarfs (aka Syd Baxter, Ray Holdgate, Dave Rudberg, Kevin Ramsay, Jody Andrews and Paul Whitney).

After a staffer quietly brought a big coroplast sign up on stage that said something to the effect "the scenes you are about to witness are merely fictional", that's when the seven dwarfs started arriving on stage all decked out in their white beards and caps. Then the real fun of the night began.

The master of ceremonies (aka story teller), Sue Mundick (a wonderful and smart manager heading up the parks department) began to tell a tale of a beautiful young woman named Snow White who lived in the Enchanted Forest (no mention of community gardens).

Before I begin recounting the story, I must disclose that I was busy eating baked asparagus, prime rib and locally grown backyard chicken as the skit began to unfold, so my apologies to all concerned if my recollection of events are not identical to those unveiled on stage...here we go.

The story started when a new King was coronated and came into the castle and asked "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most powerful at the Hall." The mirror kept repeating the words "Snow White young man...Snow White".  The King was furious with the mirror and decided to whip up a batch of organically grown joyous apple juice.

The lovely Snow White was then delivered a glass of this joyous juice, and before you know it, she was gone. Not only was she gone, but so were a few of her dwarfs friends as well.

That's when former Deputy City Manager Jody Andrews got up on stage dressed as a little dwarf carrying a white placard. The story teller then said the dwarf had lived cheerfully in the forest for many years, and had recently become sad. Dwarf Andrews then pulled out his white placard to reveal his new name - "Happy".

Then the rest of all the seven dwarfs made their way on stage one by one. Of course "retiring" Dave Rudberg (who was thankfully able spare some time away from his grandchildren to attend the event) was aptly named "Grumpy" (see link to find out more).

One of the last dwarfs to arrive was Deputy City Manager James Ridge all decked out in his white beard and little grey cap.  The story teller said that after seven years of extensive training at medical school, this dwarf had come back to the forest and been renamed "Doc". After all, isn't that the kind of training you need to be a Deputy City Manager?

Of course there were the requisite jokes about this being the "Best" of this, or the "Best" of that...but overall the night was one to remember.

So as the evening came to a close, Ms. Mundick said "we'll all be back here soon I'm sure for a few more retirement parties." It was as that moment when Donald Macpherson, the City's drug Czar got up and played a beautiful, but sad song on his fiddle. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Boy does this guy have talent!

For all of our many readers outside the City of Vancouver this post might not mean much to you. But to all the City of Vancouver employees who cherish an apolitical public service, or those people who had the opportunity to share a special memory of their time with Judy Rogers, it will likely mean a lot.

Judy...I never got up on stage to praise you. The line up to get up to the mic was longer than at the bar. So consider this my public tribute to everything you've done for the City and from all of us at the CityCaucus.com team, we wish you all the best in wherever life takes you.

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