Occupation: Facilitator, Consultant, Presenter, Artist, Councillor
Tell us about yourself.
I am married to my life partner Mary, a retired teacher, who is a well-known regional artist and graphic facilitator. We have been married for 52 years. We had 4 daughters losing our oldest, Joanna Devuyst, to cancer. We have 9 grandchildren – 5 of them live in Dawson Creek. Two daughters live in the Lower Mainland serving as senior members of the RCMP. Our third daughter, Jane Connelly, lives with her family in Dawson Creek – she works as a civilian employee at the RCMP Detachment Office. I was a high school teacher and a high school principal in Langley and Sooke. I worked on a Ministry of Education assignment in Dawson Creek in 1979 and resolved to move here. I served as School Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer for S.D. 59 (Peace River South) for 20 years (1981-2001).
I support family life in our community by using a course called “Seven Habits of Successful Families”. I also have become a print artist and serve as President of the Peace River Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
I have served 2 terms as Councillor for the City of Dawson Creek.
How do you spend your time around Dawson Creek for leisure?
I organise workshops and help teach art classes. I produce art and I frame art for local people. I stay fit by walking, lifting weights and I use our wonderful swimming pool.
I am a long time Board member of the Dawson Creek Society for Community Living – a key component of our community.
I am a member of the Dawson Creek Sportsman’s Club – I love to fly fish, hunt and all aspects of these hobbies.
Why are you running?
I believe every individual should contribute to the well-being of the community they live in. I also believe in giving back to the community. As School Superintendent I was given the opportunity to develop my skills as a leader and as a facilitator through extensive course work and certification programmes.
I decided to stand for Councillor 7 years ago in response to concerns in the community about the city’s finances, a number of significant overruns in capital projects (multiplex and cultural centre) and the associated lack of confidence in how the city was using its resources. While I enthusiastically support the city staff, a lot of work needs to be done at the political level charting a long term plan of action concerning the fiscal gap and the state of the city infrastructure.
We will be following with full interviews tomorrow! And don’t forget the DC Mirror council candidate mega-debate at Encana Events Centre Thursday Oct. 11.