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Late trio of Vernon councillors to be memorialized

Council votes, but not unanimously, to honour commitments to office, community of Nahal, Spiers, Nicol
Vernon council voted by a margin of 5-2 to honour late councillors Dalvir Nahal (clockwise from left), Bob Spiers and Patrick Nicol with a memorial plaque outside city hall. The trio died during their respective terms in office. (Morning Star - file photos)

Three Vernon councillors who died while in office in the past three consecutive terms will be forever immortalized outside city hall.

Council voted by a margin of 5-2 to spend up to $5,000 to prepare and create a memorial plaque to be placed on the rock-face outside city hall to honour the late Patrick Nicol (2014), Bob Spiers (2018) and Dalvir Nahal (2021).

It was Coun. Kari Gares who brought forward the notice of motion to create the memorial to “give gratitude and thanks to those councillors who were not able to complete their respective terms over the last decade.”

“These councillors contributed significantly to the betterment of our community through their hard work, dedication and commitment to uphold the vision of the corporation,” said Gares in her motion.

During a lengthy discussion of the notice at the regular meeting of council, Monday, Nov. 28, Gares acknowledged that the councillors are already recognized on the wall inside Vernon City Hall, as are two former mayors and a councillor, all of whom died in office but prior to 1980.

She wants a memorial outside, giving the public better access to it.

Nicol, known for his love of Canada Day festivities at Polson Park, was honoured in 2014, seven months after his death, with a plaque on a stone in Polson Park, revealed to the public on July 1, 2014. That was done at the request of council of the day.

“I did not go further back (than Nicol) because I was either not alive or not old enough to know the past mayors or councillors who died during their elected term,” said Gares. “For me to bring something forward that would incorporate those individuals, I would not be true to myself because I wouldn’t know anything about them.

“I know who these three are and the commitments they made to their elected positions and the community as a whole.”

Coun. Kelly Fehr and Mayor Victor Cumming were opposed. Fehr struggled with there not being a criteria for selection.

“Those that have passed are recognized here already, and to honour just the last ones that have passed doesn’t seem right,” said Fehr. “If we want to create a criteria for those that have stood out, an evaluation metric needs to be created.”

Coun. Akbal Mund said if having the taxpayers pay for it was a concern, council themselves could “easily raise the funds.”

Staff will provide council with the source of funding, and the memorial plaque is to be installed no later than the spring of 2023.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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