The Other Danny Williams
By Ashley Colombe
Without a doubt, former premier Danny Williams has influenced the lives of every Newfoundlander and Labradorian but hes affected one individual in a rather unusual way. Meet Constable Danny Williams, an RCMP officer living and working in Springdale, Newfoundland. The 23-year-old says hes endured political jokes and jabs since 2003, when Danny Williams was first elected premier. All in good fun, though, he says.
For the last seven years, young Danny says hes been known as the other Danny Williams, or not the real Danny Williams. But he doesnt get offended.
I dont mind that. I mean, come on, hes the most popular guy in Newfoundland, he says.
When the Mount Pearl native started out as an RCMP officer in Springdale in 2007, he tried going by Dan Williams to avoid the teasing. But people caught on anyway.
My very first day in Springdale, first day on the job, Im ready for a murder to be called in and Im going to take it. Im going to go hit the streets and solve the murder, remembers Danny. The phone call came but it was no murder. It was a newspaper reporter writing a piece about his famous name.
Turns out, sharing the name of the provinces most popular premier has paid off in his line of work.
It breaks the ice sometimes if youre in some hectic situations, you introduce yourself and they say, Wait a minute, are you related?
And if you were wondering, hes not a relative of the former premier though he wouldnt mind being a nephew or cousin of Danny Millions.
Maybe then I could hit the other Danny up for some cash or something like that, he jokes.
And the name isnt the only thing they share in common. Young Danny says he is also very passionate about the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He recently accepted a position with the RCMP in Labrador, partially, he says, to feed his need to experience the province in its entirety.
And while people often joke with him about going into politics, Dannys not sure hes cut out for the raw emotion of the House of Assembly. Plus, he loves his career with the RCMP.
But now that Danny senior is out of a job, young Danny has a proposition for him:
Danny, the RCMP is hiring, so if you want to step up and maybe speak to one of us about joining, that option is certainly there, he says, adding with a smirk, You know, age is not such a big factor.
He thinks Danny would make the perfect police partner because we do so much communicating. Everyone sees the gun and the baton and the handcuffs
but our main instrument that we use would be our mouths. Its communication, its talking people out of sticky situations and man, can that guy talk.
Young Danny says he is a true fan of his famous counterpart. He says he was most impressed by the former premiers ability to bring the title of premier down to a personal level with each and every Newfoundlander and Labradorian including him.
People may look back at Joey Smallwood
but Ive experienced Danny as premier and hes done a fantastic job.
Having said that, the former premier neednt think he can get away with anything under Dannys watch. Young Danny says hed issue him a speeding ticket without batting an eyelash. If he was breaching the Highway Traffic Act, thats definitely something wed have to address, and I think he knows that, too. It doesnt matter who you are, the law applies to everyone.
Ultimately, when asked who he feels is the cooler Danny Williams, the young RCMP officer answers without hesitation.
Im going to have to go with him, hes accomplished so much in his life, says Danny. Now Ill say that for now. If you give me a few more years maybe Ill come back here and let you know that Im cooler at that point
and maybe theyll be interviewing him about me.
Are you famous in name only? Is there a real-life Jake Doyle in our midst? Perhaps another Allan Hawco? How about a Betty White, Bart Simpson or George Bush? If you have a story to share about having a famous name, contact Downhome.