Usually when a consular official retires, his past position might not be interesting to the community where he served but in the case of Walter Mondale it is, and here is why: This former U.S. presidential candidate, commonly known as an advocate for gender equality, was Norway’s honorary consul general (one rank above an honorary consul) in Minnesota from 2008-2010 and it’s in that role he just testified in a law suit against Norway involving equal pay for equal work.
The plaintiff worked at the consulate during Consul General Mondale’s tenure and she now claims she was paid $30,000 less than a male colleague. Whatever the outcome of this suit, it’s not relevant to this blog but what is of interest is the fact that a former consular official is testifying about his actions while he was a consul.
This leads me to think of many of us who’re retired consuls. Since the honorary officials usually remain in the communities where they were active consuls, people will often continue to associate these former representatives with their countries. Sometimes this causes local confusion so it may be wise to emphasize the “retired”-part, like I do when I’m at an event with a bunch of foreign consuls.