A lot learned about Jim Flaherty from family's tributes

Quinn Flaherty speaks at his father, Canada's former finance minister Jim Flaherty's state funeral...

Quinn Flaherty speaks at his father, Canada's former finance minister Jim Flaherty's state funeral with his widow Christine Elliott and brothers Galen, second from left, and John, right, at St. James Cathedral on April 16, 2014. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Christina Blizzard, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:24 PM ET

Funerals, they say, are about the living — not the dead.

And it’s hard to argue with that.

But it’s often at very public memorials — and the way a family bids farewell to its loved ones — that you learn a great deal about the private lives of people you’ve only known from headlines.

So it was at the state funeral for former federal finance minister Jim Flaherty Wednesday as a grateful nation said goodbye to the guy who steered this country through stormy economic times.

The good and the great gathered in St. James Cathedral in downtown Toronto to pay their respects.

It‘s a beautiful church, decked out in its Holy Week best — and awash in green.

Emerald green spotlights lit up the pillars. Mourners donned green scarves to honour Flaherty’s Irish heritage.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s eulogy was the best speech I’ve ever heard him deliver.


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