ALERT BAY—Hereditary ‘Namgis Chief Bill Cranmer joined a select group of local citizens when he was awarded last month with the Village’s Freedom of the Municipality Award.
The presentation was made by Mayor Michael Berry during the Dec. 8 inaugural meeting of the new Village Council. It recognized Cranmer for having “dedicated his efforts towards the improvement of the Health, Socio-economic and Cultural environment for the benefit of all Cormorant Island citizens.”
The proclamation also cited Cranmer’s support and involvement in the historic Alert Bay Accord, which promotes social and economic cooperation and collaboration between the ‘Namgis First Nation and the Village of Alert Bay.
Cranmer joins former village mayors Gordie Peterson and John Rowell, librarian Joyce Wilby and former councillor Neil Langille as Freemen of Alert Bay.
The late Dr. Jack Pickup and Joan Farewell, former village administrator, had also previously been awarded the honour.
Peterson, Wilby and Rowell each attended the meeting and were also presented official keys to the Village in the ceremony.
“We standardized the award as part of this presentation,” administrator Heather Nelson-Smith said. “In the past the award might have been a paper key, or a certificate, or maybe a real key. Now, we have a perpetual plaque that has the names off all the past Freemen.”
In the meeting, Berry returned as mayor following his acclimation in the November, 2014, municipal election.
He was joined by returning councillors Kane Gordon and Wendy White, along with new councillors Dennis Buchanan and Lisanne Granger in the swearing-in ceremony for four-year terms.
Portfolios were also distributed to councillors.
Mayor Berry will take the Alert Bay Director’s seat at the Regional District of Mount Waddington, with Buchanan the alternate.
It was reported erroneously in the Gazette last month that Buchanan would be the RDMW representative.