City of Vernon mourns councillor Patrick Nicol’s death

Patrick Nicol served 22 years as a Vernon councillor, attending his last meeting Monday. He was 64

The City of Vernon is mourning the death of longtime councillor Patrick Nicol.

The City of Vernon is mourning the death of longtime councillor Patrick Nicol.

The flag at Vernon city hall is at half-mast in tribute of a dedicated community servant.

Patrick Nicol, 64, who had been a city councillor for 22 years and was Regional District of North Okanagan chairperson, died Thursday after battling illness for a number of years.

“His work for the community was unparalleled,” said a visibly shaken Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

Nicol was known for tirelessly reading reports, taking phone calls at all hours and speaking on behalf of residents he felt weren’t getting full attention.

“He had a lot of respect and dignity for everyone,” said Sawatzky.

Nicol, the former general manager of Kiss FM, was first elected to city council in 1986 and he attended his last meeting Monday (he was off council for six years when he unsuccessfully ran for mayor twice).

Nicol was also the driving force behind Vernon’s Canada Day celebrations for decades.

“We will all greatly miss his wisdom and kindness, as well as his efforts to make his community a better place,” states the city in a release.

“He acted with dignity and respect for others and we, the members of his family at the City of Vernon, extend our condolences to his family and friends.”

Because there is a sufficient number of council members, a byelection will not be required before November’s civic election.

RDNO directors first elected Nicol as board chairperson in 2011.

It was common for him to attend events throughout the region, including in Grindrod, Cherryville and Armstrong.

“I really believe in the regional district and we represent all of the region. I’ve never believed in a segmented version,” he said in a 2011 interview.

Look for more coverage in Sunday’s Morning Star.