Members of the Jack Talstra family gathered at the Skeena Industrial Development Park Nov. 14 where a street was named in honour of the former Terrace mayor. From the left

Street named in honour of former Terrace mayor Jack Talstra

It's the main road leading to the Skeena Industrial Development Park

THE main road leading to the Skeena Industrial Development Park was named Jack Talstra Way in a small ceremony Nov. 14 at the location on Hwy37 South south of the Northwest Regional Airport.

Talstra was the mayor of Terrace from 1985 to 2008 and instrumental in promoting the concept of an industrial park which now stands at more than 2,000 acres and is a partnership between the city and the Kitselas First Nation.

Illness prevented Talstra from attending but he was represented by many family members.

Members of the current city council and city staffers were present as were members of the Kitselas First Nation and its economic development arm.

Speaking on behalf of the city, mayor Dave Pernarowski noted the street naming was long overdue given Talstra’s time in office.

“When I think back to those number of years, it’s hard to even comprehend the amount of time and effort and dedication Jack showed to the City of Terrace,” said Pernarowski.

He credited Talstra with the vision for the industrial park and the work he and past councils and city staffers then put in on the project.

Pernarowski, who defeated Talstra in 2008 and who is stepping down after six years as mayor himself, noted that one of his first mayoral jobs was to unveil a welcome to Terrace sign and that it was fitting that one of his last official acts was to unveil a sign in honour of his predecessor.

Daniel Talstra, a son of Talstra’s, spoke on his father’s behalf, thanking those who attended.

He said his father was honoured to have a street named after him.

Talstra, continued his son, wanted special mention made of the Kitselas First Nation and of Glenn Bennett, who was Kitselas chief councillor during the earlier years of the park’s development, for their contribution with “hopes of streets being named after them as well.”

And the former mayor also had words for what would come next, said his son.

While the original vision was for the development of the Kitimat-Terrace corridor it is up to the next generation of leaders to consider the environment in the region’s development, Talstra said of his father’s comments.

“He recognized there are two parts of this greater project: first the challenge of creating a vision and getting the wheels rolling, and second, managing these developments in a way that safeguards the environmental value of such a pristine region. He wanted to show recognition to the fact that, in his view, of these challenges, the second one is the greater. And he wants to give recognition in advance to the next generation of leaders for the hard work they will have to do in living up to this challenge,” said Talstra of his father’s thoughts.

Afterward, a fire hydrant in front of city hall that had been painted in the likeness of Talstra was unveiled for family members and members of council.

It was painted by current city councillor Lynne Christiansen who credited local community historian Yvonne Moen with the idea.