08/26/2011 05:14 EDT | Updated 10/26/2011 05:12 EDT

Jack Layton Funeral: Troy Oakley, Lifelong Conservative Supporter, Gets Farewell Words Tattoo


TORONTO - He's a lifelong Conservative supporter, but Troy Oakley was so moved by Jack Layton's farewell words to Canadians he now has them tattooed on his arm.

"It's not about party lines with Mr. Layton, it's about being good to everybody else and just doing the right thing," says Oakley, 39, a college registrar from Mississauga, west of Toronto.

Of the 27 tattoos adorning his body, Oakley says this one is his favourite.

Running across the top of his forearm, the words stretch about 16 inches from his wrist to his elbow and were inked on his arm in a tattoo shop in Oshawa on Thursday night.

"My friends, love is better than anger," reads the text lifted from a letter left by the New Democratic Party leader before his death Monday of cancer.

"Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."

Oakley says the message touched him because it is simple and brimming with common sense.

"People can look at things in a negative manner, or they can look at things in a positive manner," says Oakley.

"I mean, the guy is lying on his bed dying and all he's thinking about is everybody else. I think that speaks volumes to why I was honoured to put these words on my skin."

Oakley hopes his tattoo will remind others about Layton's optimism. The numerous posts a photo he posted on Facebook and Twitter has generated tell him it's working.

"A lot of people have seen this tattoo, so it's already made a difference because now they're going to remember those words."