Former Port McNeill Mayor Passes

Gerry Furney, the former Port McNeill Mayor, passed away earlier this week at the age of 85. With over 46 years of service on the Town’s Council, Furney was one of BC’s longest serving mayors.

Current Mayor Gabby Wickstrom described Furney as “a man larger than life, approachable and kind; a community leader. He was such an integral part of Port McNeill’s history. Our hearts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.” 

Furney played an instrumental role in coordinating and representing the interests of forestry-based communities on Vancouver Island, and was a tireless advocate for local government consultation in provincial land use decisions. Among his many appointments over the years, Furney served on BC’s Community Charter Council. The Community Charter, which passed into law in 2003, is one of two key pieces of legislation in British Columbia that define the core authority of local governments and guide their decision-making.

Furney is remembered for his common touch and ability to mobilize support for local initiatives. Mayor Wickstrom recalls the time Furney staged a “Shillelagh Pothole Golf” tournament to draw attention to the lack of paved roads in the town.

The tournament prompted the province, which was paving the highway nearby, to commit to paving as many roads as the Town could make ready. Furney often said ‘They were probably shocked when they came at the amount of paving that they had to do.’                                                                                   - With content from the Times Colonist

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