Kimberley Community Development Society honours Sykes

Sykes served as ‘super-volunteer’ in Kimberley for many years

Mac Sykes accepts congratulations from Craig Hillman.

Mac Sykes accepts congratulations from Craig Hillman.

The Kimberley Community Development Society was formed in 1984 and over the years has been involved in the building of many of Kimberley’s assets from golf courses to campgrounds.

Two years after its formation, Mac Sykes came on board and has served on the Society ever since.

On Thursday night, former and current Society members, employees and City staff and Council gathered to honour Sykes as he steps down as Chair of the KCDS.

Deputy Mayor Jack Ratcliffe, who spoke Thursday evening of Syke’s accomplishments, says that in addition to all his volunteer work, Sykes was also Administrator of Kimberley and District Hospital, and a World War II paratrooper.

“We appreciate Mac’s long service to Kimberley and his country,” Ratcliffe said.

Sykes was also instrumental in saving and developing the Kimberley Ski and Summer Resort in the 1980’s when it was facing bankruptcy, says former Mayor Jim Ogilvie.

The City bought the resort for 25 cents on the dollar and took on a debt of $700,000 with special permission from the province to borrow that much money.

“We looked for people to run the Society,” Ogilvie recalled. “We said here’s this ski resort. It has $700,000 owing. We want you to pay it off, make a go of it and don’t come back and ask for any more money. Mac was among those who stepped forward. We didn’t even give them operating capital, we said sell ski passes ahead of time. They did. There were some tough years, but they paid off the debt.

“I think the City owes people like Mac a great deal of credit. A whole bunch of things wouldn’t be going on in our community today if you hadn’t stood up and said you’d do it.”

Current KCDS member Craig Hillman presented Sykes with a lifetime pass to the Riverside Putting Course, a recent KCDS project.