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Vernon council remembers colleague

Mayor and Council for the City of Vernon remembered their colleague, Patrick Nicol, who passed away on Wednesday evening at age 64 after a long battle with cancer, at the final session of the City's budget presentations Friday morning.

Nicol’s customary seat was empty, but marked with two single roses, one red and one white, as a poignant reminder of the dignified man who was first elected as councillor in 1985.

The session opened with a minute of silence to observe Nicol's long years of service and friendship.

Nicol was well known for his dedication to the citizens of Vernon, and his passion for bringing their voices forward to Council was evident right to the very end.

He attended the regular Council meeting on Monday, January 13, and was still taking calls and emails on Wednesday.

“It is an honour to represent Vernon citizens,” Nicol had written for his bio on the City's website. “Equally, it has been a team effort because the best ideas frequently are produced by the citizens I represent.”

At this point, Council has not made a decision about holding a by-election to fill Nichol's seat. General municipal elections in BC will be held on November 15, 2014.

Mayor Rob Sawatzky, remembered Nicol as being a big fan of the Baltimore Orioles.

“I think many people would be surprised to learn that Patrick was an avid Baltimore Orioles baseball fan and had interviewed Earl Weaver, their most famous manager, a number of times, in Baltimore. Naturally, he travelled there to attend games and visit in the clubhouse whenever possible. He also appeared on a radio show with Colonel Harlan Saunders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, in northern Alberta—Grande Prairie I believe—and found great humor in his direction to repeat “finger lickin’ good” on air after the good Colonel.

Patrick’s style was always to be impeccably dressed and dignified, so his deviations from that amused him.”

Councillor Juliette Cunningham commented...

“I had the opportunity to get to know Patrick as a respected colleague in my role as a City of Vernon councillor and Regional District director. He was absolutely dedicated to the individual citizen and their right to be heard and informed. On a personal note, he was always interested in hearing stories about my grandsons who are keen little hockey players in Pennsylvania. This past Christmas, he generously gave them some mint condition vintage Sports Illustrated magazines that I know he had cherished for some time. I will miss his presence next to me at council meetings.”

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