Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett will be speaking Jim Ogilvie’s memorial service at the Kimberley Conference and Athlete Training Centre today.
Bennett says he will bringing along condolences from the Premier.
“She would want me to do that,” he said. “Everybody loved Jim. The NDP loved him, the BC Liberals loved him. Partisan politics had nothing to do with it.”
Bennett has many memories of the former mayor and says he was one of a kind.
“I’ve never worked with anyone as dogged and determined to move his community forward,” Bennett said Thursday. “He came to see me regularly. He was always well organized, he had all the facts, and top quality documents prepared for me to take to Victoria. He made it easy for me to help him. He was never abrupt, pushy or aggressive. If I couldn’t help him at that time, I knew he’d be back. He’d wait a polite amount of time, but he’d be back.
“I really respected how determined he was.”
Bennett says what really defined Jim Ogilvie was how he recognized that Kimberley was going to lose its primary employer and largest industry, the Sullivan Mine, years ahead of time.
“The actions he had the community take, I’m talking about buying the ski hill, developing Trickle Creek and Bootleg Gap… I can’t think of another community anywhere where the mayor was so forward in thinking.
“Jim Ogilvie and the community of Kimberley are the example for all other resource-based communities facing this problem to follow.”