Liberal MP Herb Gray and Lady Sarah Burns. (QMI Agency File)
The federal Liberals celebrated some of their past glory Monday.
Former party leaders gathered in Ottawa to honour Herb Gray, a retired Ontario MP first elected to the House of Commons 50 years ago.
Gray, who set the Canadian record for an MP by winning 13 consecutive elections and eventually serving over 39 years in public office, was feted as a savvy and caring parliamentarian by his former colleagues including ex-prime ministers Paul Martin, Jean Chretien and John Turner.
He was given the inaugural Laurier award by the party, meant to honour those who helped build the Liberal brand.
"I've had the opportunity to participate in the development and implementation in policy and programs that enhanced the lives of Canadians from coast to coast to coast," he said.
The event was also a chance for candidates running to lead the third-place party to mingle with supporters.
MP Justin Trudeau and former MP Martha Hall Findlay, as well as Ottawa lawyer David Bertschi were at the event.
Other potential hopefuls to attend included Montreal MP and former astronaut Marc Garneau, who is expected to join the race this week, and Vancouver MP Joyce Murray.
Other candidates who have declared their intention to run are lawyer Deborah Coyne, the mother of Trudeau's half-sister, economist Jonathan Mousley, B.C. Crown attorney Alex Burton, former leader of the Liberal's B.C. branch David Merner and retired Canadian Forces member Karen McCrimmon.