Governor Victor G. Atiyeh's Administration

Farewell Message, 1987

Source: Farewell Statement Governor Victor Atiyeh, Oregon, 1987

“It was a morning like this on January 12, 1959 that I began my public service to the people of Oregon. Today exactly 28 years later I close that book as I give this brief and very personal farewell message.

“These past few weeks have been emotional ones for me, not so much that I’m leaving the official title of Governor, as it is the leaving of so many friends who have battled with me for the principals of good government.

The people who fervently believe in the wisdom of our citizens, dealt not with the issues of the moment but with how those issues fit into the fabric of our democracy.

WE are not theoretically but actually in touch with Oregonians and who are passionately in love with Oregon. It is the leaving of all these people that make me fight back tears, but today is not my day.

It is rightfully and appropriately the day for our new Governor. Governor Goldschmidt, with as much sincerity as I can muster I wish you only the very best, for you success will benefit Oregonians. It is on that foundation that I know that you and I stand four square together.

Deloris, you tolerated my days and nights away from home all these years with incredible patience and understanding. I know it was not easy for you but you stood by my side though the darkest days of our lives, always there and always caring.

For if I have soared with the eagles at all it was only because you were the wind beneath my wings.

To my son Tom and my daughter Suzanne I hope your Dad has not caused you too many problems as you were growing up, and that you are as proud as I am at the moment.

And to my fellow Oregonians here is this very special room and though out the state of Oregon I thank you for the fight that you have given this son of an immigrant to have served you as Governor for a full eight years. You have shared you joys, your hopes, your tears and your friendship with me. That has been wonderful and unforgettable, and a singular blessing.

Twenty eight years ago Deloris and I have figuratively walked into public service door together. As I leave today it is my wish that we literally walk out of the public door together, grateful for the trust that you placed in us.

In a few moments I will lay down my responsibilities as Governor, but I shall never lay down my concern for all of you, nor my love of Oregon God bless you all.

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