Ralph Munro, former Washington Secretary of State, recently led a group of Bainbridge Island Historical Museum supporters on a trip to Olympia to see Washington’s state government in action.
Munro, who served five terms as Secretary of State, was the museum group’s personal guide for the tour. Participants on the tour said it was evident Munro is still held in high esteem as he responded to greetings from former colleagues while pointing out various landmarks to the group.
Munro, who grew up on Bainbridge and is a generous supporter of the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, talked about the island’s connections to the capital. He identified the Bainbridge Islanders whose names appear on the statue commemorating the Medal of Honor winners from Washington, and on the Vietnam War Memorial.
As the group approached the elegant Capitol Building, Munro told of his grandfather who was a Scottish stone carver and said that some of the massive limestones for the exterior of the Capitol Building bear his grandfather’s mark.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman welcomed the group to her office and the governor’s office (Jay Inslee was out of town).
After viewing the state offices and legislative chambers the group headed to the Temple of Justice which houses the Washington State Supreme Court and State Law Library.
Justice Charlie Wiggins and Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, both from Bainbridge, described their duties and escorted the group through the court and chambers.
During lunch the two Justices described the workings of the court and state Sen. Christine Rolfes and Reps. Drew Hansen and Sherry Appleton explained their roles in the 23rd Legislative District.
After lunch, it was a short walk to the governor’s mansion where the group were greeted by Washington’s First Lady, Trudi Inslee.
The stately residence is the oldest building on the campus, built in 1908 for a cost of $35,000 and has 19 rooms. The state rooms are furnished with period furniture including some of the original furnishings.
Washingtonians can be extremely proud of their splendid Capitol and the surrounding grounds, and the group unanimously agreed that it was a pleasurable and educational trip.