“I am not a member of any lobby group local or otherwise. The only group I have ever represented are the citizens and ratepayers of Thornhill. I have represented them and their interests for 25 years, and it has been an honour to have done that.”
And with those words written in 2011, Les Watmough, who died Oct. 27 at the age of 83, embarked, albeit it unsuccessfully, on what would be his last electoral campaign to represent Thornhill on the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District board.
Equal parts cranky, stubborn, irreverent and witty, Mr. Watmough had little time for either slick talking locals or those from the outside with grand ideas for the area.
That’s because Mr. Watmough was absolutely grounded in the philosophy that it is the rural areas which contain the innumerable resources that have – and can again – benefit the region’s residents if properly managed and developed.
And woe betide anyone who failed to afford rural residents the respect Mr. Watmough felt was due them because of this and who failed to understand the role and place Mr. Watmough felt the regional district should play in resource development.
We would all be fortunate to carry even a little of Mr. Watmough’s philosophy forward in the coming months and years as the northwest embarks upon massive changes.
He’d expect nothing less.