Coun. Jack Ratcliffe, in his role as Deputy Mayor, chaired the last meeting of the McRae administration on Monday evening.
It was Ratcliffe’s last meeting as a city councillor after serving the city of Kimberley for 29 years.
He was given many kind words from his fellow councillors and in his usual modest style, Ratcliffe said he’d need a new hat to wear home as he was getting a swelled head.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize Jack Ratcliffe for his unbelievable community service over the past 29 years,” said Mayor-Elect Don McCormick. “It’s nothing short of spectacular.”
Coun. Bev Middlebrook praised Ratcliffe for his leadership and guidance, saying his experience was much appreciated.
“I had the pleasure of sitting with you for 26 of those years,” said Coun. Albert Hoglund. “We didn’t always agree, but you were a guiding light.”
Hoglund also mentioned all the other boards Ratcliffe sat on and those he still is involved with such as the Health Centre Society and the Library Board, and thanked both Ratcliffe, and his wife Rose, for their time.
“I applaud your unbelievable resilience,” said Coun. Darryl Oakley. “You’ve been absolutely great for putting up with me for the past three years. Your service to the community is absolutely impressive. You are an amazing role model for anyone wishing to serve in public office. I thank Rose for sharing you with the city of Kimberley.”
“You are a great role model,” said Coun. Kent Goodwin. “Thank you for being there for us. We will miss you.”
Ratcliffe said he had appreciated the whole business of working for the city.
“It wasn’t always sweetness and light but it was generally a great experience,” he said. “I have been asked what I’m most proud of and I’d have to say it’s the transition from mining to tourism and hopefully some appropriate light industry. I’m also proud of the 12 years the city ran the ski resort. The ski club was $2.2 million debt. We talked the receiver into selling it to the city for $750,000 and the taxpayer never paid a dime for it because we started making money right away. We bought the Rosa Chair from Whistler, made some surplus money and gained when it was sold.”