Retiring councillors Tom Walker and Maeve Maguire were honoured at the last council meeting for the term in North Cowichan on Wednesday.
Walker has served more than 20 years on North Cowichan’s council, with three of them as mayor, as well as serving as a director and chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District during that time.
Maguire has served for one four-year term
Mayor Jon Lefebure said he has run against Walker for public office over the years, and has worked together with him on council.
He described Walker as a tireless workhorse for the community.
“Tom was always reasonable and used common sense when discussing issues, and had a dry sense of humour that was always appreciated,” Lefebure said.
Chris Gale, manager of the BC Forest Discovery Centre, led a contingent to honour Walker at the meeting, with many bearing face masks of Walker.
He said council’s loss is the Discovery Centre’s gain as Walker plans to join its board of directors.
“It will be nice to have some new blood on our team,” he said with a grin.
“Many men who speak loudly have nothing important to say, while Tom speaks softly, but always has something important to say.”
Walker said he decided not to seek re-election in the municipal elections on Oct. 20 last Christmas, but kept his plans quiet until recently.
He said recent health issues confirmed that he was making the right decision.
“I’ve always enjoyed living in North Cowichan and being on council,” he said.
“People have always treated me well here. I can count on one hand how many enemies I’ve made in my time here.”
Walker said he’s disappointed that Maguire is not seeking re-election.
“I think that she’s the most improved councillor at the table this term,” he said.
“Over the last year, some of the wisest words I’ve heard from any of our councillors came from her.”
Lefebure added that Maguire made some great contributions to council and the community over the last four years.