Dr. Dennis Furlong was a man of great achievements all cloaked in profound humility. He was a ‘’straight up’’, ordinary man of extraordinary intellect and devotion to the common good. There are many material temptations for a doctor of Dennis’ aptitude; he succumbed to none. His spirit to achieve was pervasive; as an athlete, a marathon runner, a minister of the Crown, and a physician. His cause was the people of New Brunswick, his actions made us all the richer for them. Portage is built on and sustained by role models. They focus us on what is possible, what is achievable.
As a minister, Dennis befriended Portage and through Portage, he helped thousands of troubled youth throughout New Brunswick. We and he shared the belief in human potential and that great feats can be achieved by people who feel encouraged and respected. One of his former patients summed up Dennis attitude towards people: ‘’He treated you like you were his number one’’. He was true to his oath: do no harm; cure sometimes encourage always.
This is a particularly difficult time for politicians. Scandals and buffoonery have tainted the entire profession. This has resulted in many amongst us, including most youth to lose faith in the entire political process. Political declarations are viewed with a jaundiced eye. We no longer believe that they represent our interests; this in turn threatens our entire way of life. We need to restore confidence in our institutions, trust in our representatives.
In order to achieve this, every society needs role models to emulate, people of principle to inspire. Dr. Dennis Furlong was such a man. He was a man of character, a minister of the people, and a healer in the truest sense of the word.
We at Portage feel blessed that our paths crossed. As we strive to cultivate a social conscience and a sense of responsibility amongst our clients, we remember with gratitude the leadership and service of Dr. Dennis Furlong.