Political junkie, 89, marks 65 years watching House of Assembly
Chester Harris a silent observer of province's political history
A St. John's man with an extraordinary love of politics has become a staple in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, sitting in on provincial politics for 65 years.
Chester Harris, 89, has been a familiar face in the legislature for decades, even earning a special seat in the House in 2010 so he now sits with the MHAs.
While Harris loves political discourse, he says he's never felt inclined to get involved.
Around the time the National Convention was underway, Harris moved from New Chelsea to St. John's for university.
Watching politicians like Peter Cashin and Joey Smallwood debate the future of the former Dominion of Newfoundland fascinated him, but also strengthened his political stripes.
"I was born a PC," he said.
"See, Joey Smallwood, he had two points going for him, which I admire. First of all, he was a true Newfoundlander, and secondly, he was a hard-working man. Now that's two points, but in regards to his politics I couldn't stand him. 'Yak, yak,' the whole time and never shut his friggin' mouth, you know?"
Harris knows the name of every MHA, premier and speaker who has ever darkened the doors of the House of Assembly, and says in a time when political involvement is on the decline, people need to pay attention.
"It's part of life — it's part of living. If you don't know politics, you don't got nothing," said Harris.
The House isn't in session over this summer, but Harris is ready to take his seat once it resumes in the fall.