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Big shoes to fill in wake of councillor's death

In the final session of the City’s budget presentations Friday, Nicol’s seat was empty but marked with two single roses, one red and one white.
Image Credit: City of Vernon/ Composite by InfoTel News
January 20, 2014 - 11:55 AM

VERNON - Friends and colleagues say Coun. Patrick Nicol, who died this week after a long battle with cancer, will never truly be replaced.

The City of Vernon isn’t rushing to fill his vacant seat, and because there are still enough members on council (six), a by-election is not required. General municipal elections will be held November 15, 2014.

Nicol’s position as chairman of the Regional District of North Okanagan has been assumed for the time being by vice-chair Rick Fairbairn. No date has been set for a board election. There is a sufficient number of directors remaining to continue business as usual.

Perhaps harder to replace is Nicol’s presence in the community. Those on the Canada Day Committee are deeply saddened by his passing. Nicol organized all the Canada Day events in Polson Park and was passionate about doing so.

“Losing him will leave a massive hole in the program,” Terry Schmauder, chair of the Vernon Canada Day Fireworks Committee says.

“He’ll be remembered for an unwavering dedication and pride to community and country.”

Those behind the Vernon Winter Carnival are also mourning the loss. Nicol first got involved with the Winter Carnival in the mid '70s. Over the years, he wore many hats: publicity rep, chairman of the carnival board, city rep. He was the recipient of two Winter Carnival awards for his outstanding community service.

Current chair Calvin Hoy last saw Nicol at a carnival board meeting the evening before he died.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone that has a bigger heart or is as caring as he was not only to the community but to the people,” Hoy says. “There’s a lot I can’t discuss because he chose to be anonymous. He’s done amazing things people will never know.”

There’s been no announcement yet for a memorial service.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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