Former Terrace city councillor Marylin Davies who passed away Feb. 5 is being remembered by mayor Carol Leclerc as a person who contributed much to the city and area.
“She probably has impacted a lot of people in a lot of different ways. She was a very strong woman and a strong leader for the City of Terrace,” said Leclerc of Davies who was involved in many local government initiatives, including helping organize the city’s 75th anniversary events and forging agreements with the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum communities.
Leclerc also credited Davies with encouraging her to run for council and then to run for mayor.
“Marylin has been a huge influence on my life,” she said.
Davies served seven years as city councillor from 2001 to 2008 before being defeated. She was elected again in 2011 but resigned midway through 2014 to move with husband Phil to Courtenay on Vancouver Island.
“I believe Terrace has moved from a small town mindset community to a have-not town to the edge of the boom. I don’t think we ever dreamed it could happen and now it is upon us,” Davies said at her last council meeting in June 2014.
Davies was well-known for having a sharp tongue both around and away from the council table.
In 2011, when the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce suggested the tax rate for businesses was too high and advocated for a $400,000 cut from the city budget, Davies responded: “I always say to people we can do anything you want, what would you like to cut? To how many groups do you say ‘No, sorry. There’s no money for you?’”
And when a proposal for a graffiti wall surfaced in 2012 as way to discourage random acts of graffiti vandalism, Davies had this question: “I just want to know the difference between art and graffiti. How would you control one from the other?”
The following year council invited police and lawyers to a meeting in response to public frustration about crime. After councillors were told that three-quarters of criminal cases are dealt with within seven days of being formally introduced, Davies shot back with: “There’s not a man on the street who would know that.”
Davies lived in Terrace for more than 50 years and was a music teacher for 45 years, a circumstance that lead her to becoming a key participant in the founding of the Pacific Northwest Music Festival in the mid-1960s.
Current festival president Bonnie Juniper first met Davies when her daughter started taking piano lessons from her and credits Davies with putting in place the foundations to what has become a two-and-half week event drawing 1,500 participants.
“You have to have clear ideas and then move to get on with it,” Juniper said of Davies, adding that she never hesitated to speak her mind.
Davies also had province-wide music connections, something that proved invaluable in promoting the festival and ensuring it was well-known outside of the region, Juniper added.