George Murphy, known for everything from his oil and gas price updates to driving St. John's taxi cabs and his time as a provincial politician, has died.
Murphy lived in the public eye for decades, known widely as general manager of Jiffy Cabs and for his 15 years of work with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices. Murphy's words of advice would often influence business at the pumps across the province, with many deciding when to fill up once Murphy had forecasted Thursday gas prices.
Murphy also served the province as an MHA, sitting as the NDP member of the now reshaped district of St. John's East from 2011 to 2015.
He also ran as a member of the Liberal Party in the 2019 and 2021 provincial elections, aiming to represent the members of St. John's East-Quidi Vidi and Harbour Main, respectively.
Murphy died suddenly Saturday at the age of 58, hours after posting on Twitter that he was spending time with family.
Former NDP MHA Gerry Rogers entered the provincial legislature at the same time as Murphy in 2011, and said she was heartbroken when she heard the news of Murphy's death.
"He was a builder, he was a magnet, people were drawn to George. And he felt so honoured to be elected by the people in his district," Rogers said Sunday. "George was passionate and compassionate."
Rogers said Murphy was able to succeed as a politician thanks to a desire for social justice, fairness and a sense of humour that helped herself and others get through challenging times.
"It was pretty brutal in the House of Assembly at the time, it was very difficult for opposition members to speak," she said. "But he would stand up and he would speak no matter how much heckling he received, no matter how much derision he received. He was determined to be the voice of people in the House."
"People all over Newfoundland and Labrador are carrying [his family] in their hearts.…Their loss, and the loss to Newfoundland and Labrador."
Tributes pouring in
Tributes from across Newfoundland and Labrador continue to pour in, remembering Murphy as a man who cared for the province and its people.
"We have lost a voice of the people," Premier Andrew Furey told CBC News Sunday.
"He always put the people of Newfoundland and Labrador first. And frankly, if we can all behave a little bit more like George Murphy, the province will be better off."
Furey worked closely with Murphy during the latest provincial election, but said the two had a friendship of close to 10 years. He had even spoken with Murphy earlier this week at the province's government members office regarding the provincial budget.
"George was just a special person who had an unwavering conviction for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador … a loud voice for the people and an even bigger heart," he said.
"My thoughts went immediately to his family.… What a deep sense of profound loss they must be feeling right now."
Tributes are also coming from from across the political landscape, including St. John's Mayor Danny Breen and interim PC Leader David Brazil, who ran against Murphy in 2010.
"George Murphy was a true gentleman, whose kind heart and warm smile made the politics of Newfoundland and Labrador better," Brazil wrote in a statement.
"I could not ask for a more dignified opponent, whose love for the province was evident at every turn."