Metchosin council vets take one step back from community service this November

Councillors Jo Mitchell and Larry Tremblay will still be around plenty

Metchosin councillors Larry Tremblay and Jo Mitchell are both stepping down from their municipal positions this November after a combined 15 years of service to their community.

Metchosin council is going to gain at least two new faces when councillors Larry Tremblay and Jo Mitchell step back from the table this November, and the newcomers will have some big shoes to fill.

Tremblay, 74, and Mitchell, 78, have a combined 15 years of service to their community on council, but beyond that, their longtime dedication to volunteering and community involvement in Metchosin is a hard act to follow. Both have been named as Volunteer of the Year over the years and both have been instrumental in developing what are now landmarks in the district.

“Jo and Larry have shown enormous levels of community service that goes above and beyond any council work that they’ve had to do,” says fellow councillor Moralea Milne. “We’ve had the best council for the last two terms. We’ve really worked well together as a team and it’s always been civil and respectful.”

Looking back over his two terms, Tremblay’s accomplishment nearest to his heart is “being involved in creating Old Barn Books.” The little shop, which started in a modest eight foot-by-eight foot space, is entirely dependent on donated books to stock its shelves, and began as a way to support the Metchosin School Museum and Pioneer Museum.

“We needed some way to raise money for renovations,” he says. Each year, the shop has been able to gather close to $5,000 for various projects in the museums, keeping them up to date. “That’s a lot of $1 and $2 books.”

Mitchell was elected to council in 2005, after realizing that some of her volunteering causes needed more attention from local government. “I joined council to make sure they were looked at.”

She started the Metchosin Community Association, reinvigorated the Healthy Communities Committee and led the charge to transform the empty elementary school into the home of the Metchosin Arts and Cultural Centre and the Seniors Resource Centre.

“I thought it was very sad to have a dead school,” she says.

As for what the pair plan to do once their council duties are finished, they have some ideas.

“I’ve never seen Tofino,” says Tremblay, adding that he and his wife, Judy, plan to explore the Island. “We’d love to see the winter storms up there, in a cabin on the beach.”

Mitchell laughs out loud when asked about her December plans. “Clean my house!”

She adds, “People don’t realize how much work council is. We all sit on five or six committees. If you’re a proper councillor, it’s a lot of hard work. I’m planning on enjoying more of a social life.”

She doesn’t plan on relinquishing all of her duties, however. “I’ll certainly stay on the seniors committee, and (the cultural centre). I regard those as my babies.”

For his part, Tremblay will be manning the book sales every Sunday at Old Barn Books and enjoying the chance to putter on his acreage. He has no reservations about his departure from council.

“It’s been a productive council for the last six to nine years,” he says. “I feel good about retiring.”

“(Mitchell and Tremblay) were both involved in a big way before they were on council and I’m sure they still will be,” adds Milne. “I’ve really come to appreciate their work ethic and their level of commitment. It will be very, very hard to replace them.”

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Ferry passenger on Sidney boat rescue: ‘It was like the Titanic’

Lone boater rescued by BC Ferries, who called the incident a ‘close call’

One year later, life is much different in Saanich for the Bui family

‘We still hear cars screeching at the intersection,’ says mom of Leila Bui

Oak Bay teen collects more than 1,000 toys for those in need

Student seeks someone to take over drive next year

Strike averted at Greater Victoria Public Library

CUPE and labour relations association representing the GVPL reach tentative agreement

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Sidney

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Victoria Canadian Tire replaces toys stolen from Salvation Army

Children won’t have to go without toys this Christmas

READER POLL: Do you have turkey or ham for Christmas dinner?

What are you having for Christmas dinner? Canadians gobbled up 3.3 million… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 18, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Two-year-old attacked by cougar near Mission, B.C.

Boy not seriously injured in incident on Monday afternoon

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

$2.2M in cash for Christmas for 106 Greater Victoria charities

Victoria Foundation issues community grants ahead of the holidays

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

Most Read