Public service head gives an unusual goodbye

"There was a Dutch expression that my mother often used that translates to this: 'There is a time to arrive and a time to leave, and now the time to leave has arrived.' She usually used that expression when I didn't want to leave, so it seems appropriate at this time for on March 14th I will be leaving the BC Public Service." That was how the premier's deputy minister Allan Seckel began his goodbye email to fellow bureaucrats. That email was distributed just moments before, premier-designate Christy Clark's spokesperson Shane Mills publicly announced Mr. Seckel would be replaced by John Dyble, who is presently the ministry of health service's top bureaucrat. The following is a complete copy of Mr. Seckel's email, which was obtained by Public Eye.

From: Seckel, Allan PREM:EX
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 11:01 AM
To: BCPSA Agency DM List
Subject: Good Bye

There was a Dutch expression that my mother often used that translates to this: "There is a time to arrive and a time to leave, and now the time to leave has arrived."

She usually used that expression when I didn't want to leave, so it seems appropriate at this time for on March 14th I will be leaving the BC Public Service

When I arrived in the public service in 2003, I was struck by how hardworking, dedicated and committed everyone was. So many people all motivated to facilitate and provide public services, unified by a common engagement with the idea of making a difference. Moreover, I was impressed how resilient the institution is. Ideas come and go. Fiscal fortunes ebb and flow. But public servants soldier on.

My deputy colleagues at the time, and all of my colleagues since, have been first rate professionals. We recently had a reunion dinner of all deputies since 2001, and I said then that I had never been in a room with so many high quality people. I meant every word.

I leave the BC Public Service an advocate for the many people that make up its ranks. Our plan for the public service is called "Being the Best." I think we can drop the word "Being".

I am very proud of my time in the BC Public Service. I feel like I was able to participate in some great accomplishments while at the Ministry of Attorney General and while Deputy Minister to the Premier. All of these accomplishments were because of you.

I enjoyed meeting so many of you, and wish I could have met more. Good luck and "tot ziens".

Allan

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