Outgoing Mayor Gerry Furney

Port McNeill swears in new mayor, council

PORT McNEILL—Outgoing Mayor Gerry Furney honoured in investiture ceremony after 46 years in elected office.

PORT McNEILL—In what was as much a celebration of the retirement of longtime mayor Gerry Furney, Port McNeill’s new mayor and council were sworn in Monday night before a standing-room only crowd in council chambers.

Incoming Mayor Shirley Ackland was joined by councillors Jay Dixon, Shelley Downey, Aaron Frost and Graham MacDonald in the brief ceremony, which was both opened and closed by Furney — who served on the Town’s first council and who spent 39 years as mayor before choosing not to run for office again this fall.

“This is a day in history,” Ackland said in a room bedecked with photos of past councils, nearly all of them bearing Furney’s likeness. “We’ve been very fortunate to have a mayor as long as we have leading our town and putting us on such a good foundation. As he’s said many times, it’s a job he’s enjoyed, serving this community, because he really cares about all of us who live here.”

Then, turning to Furney, Ackland added, “We hope we do you proud.”

Ackland is the lone returning member from the most recent municipal government, having served the past six years on council. Both Downey and Frost, though, return after previously serving on council — Downey from 2006-11 and Frost from 2008-11. Dixon, the principal at North Island Secondary School, and MacDonald, a small business owner, are first-time elected officials.Incoming Mayor Shirley Ackland, seated, is joined by RCMP Sgt. Craig Blanchard and new councillors Shelley Downey, Graham MacDonald, Jay Dixon and Aaron Frost following their swearing-in ceremony in Port McNeill Council chambers Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

Ackland followed the oath of office by acknowledging town staff, fire chief Chris Walker, RCMP Sgt. Craig Blanchard, North Island MLA Claire Trevena and municipal airport manager Bill Velie, a longtime friend and coffee-shop partner of Furney’s.

Also in the audience were outgoing councillors Grant Anderson and Gaby Wickstrom and various family members and friends of incoming and outgoing officials. Outgoing councillor Chris Sharpe was traveling in Alberta and sent his regrets.

Furney, in turn, thanked, “the lady who gets me dressed,” referring to his wife Carmel. In an unusual twist, perhaps to avoid speaking any further, Furney then offered to adjourn the meeting that he had opened a few minutes earlier.

Frost seconded the motion, and Ackland made it official, putting a stamp on what might have been Furney’s final official public engagement after serving as councillor or mayor for 46 years.

The meeting then broke up into a general meet-and-greet over a cake decorated with the Port McNeill Town flag design, as council posed for photos accompanied by Sgt. Blanchard in his red serge.

Trevena presented Furney with a gift of a copy of her Legislative statement on Furney and the Town of Port McNeill, as recorded during the B.C. Legislature’s session of Nov. 6.

The first official meeting for the incoming council is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

 

Just Posted

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Collective agreement met between UFCW 1518 and IGA

Membership voted strongly in favour of the collective agreement, which came days after negotiations.

Safety board issues letters over rail crash that killed three workers in Woss

The safety board conducted the investigation at the request of the Transportation Ministry

SD85’s spring break schedule may change to two-weeks but would overlap Easter

“This makes absolutely no sense to me,” Barrett stated in a letter to school trustees.

UPDATE: Police say false bomb threat came from computer and printer in the school

“The threat was a hoax by a student,” said Port McNeill RCMP.

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Tilray names several former politicians to international advisory board

Many former politicians and political operatives have made a foray into the legal pot industry

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

John murder trial at Duncan courthouse on pause until spring

John is charged with the May 2016 murder of 20-year-old Derek Descoteau

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Most Read