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Longtime Kimberley mayor passes away

Jim Ogilivie - File
Jim Ogilivie
— image credit: File

Carolyn Grant

The flag at Kimberley City Hall was lowered to half mast Monday as a giant in Kimberley politics passed away on Sunday evening, August 24, 2014.

Jim Ogilvie, former alderman, longtime Mayor and passionate advocate for Kimberley has passed away.

Kimberley Mayor Ron McRae says that all of Council and staff at city hall were saddened by the news.

"It is with deep regret that I report the passing of former mayor Jim Ogilvie last night (Sunday)," McRae said. "On behalf of myself and Council I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the Ogilvie family at this time of mourning. Jim genuinely loved the City of Kimberley. His vision of transforming Kimberley from a resource-town preparing for a mine closure to a lifestyle-centred resort destination has kept Kimberley vital for future generations. A few weeks ago, it was our great privilege to honour Jim by renaming the major thoroughfare between Kimberley and Marysville as Jim Ogilvie Way.

"He had such a rich history in our community. It will take a long time to fully appreciate everything he did for Kimberley."

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald called Ogilvie a legend.

"I extend my condolences to his family and friends," Macdonald said. "There are few people I can think of who have given more to public life and their community than Jim. Even years ago when I was Mayor of Golden, he was a legend, and he continued on for many more years.

"He was well-respected throughout the province. He did a tremendous service to Kimberley."

Kimberley volunteer Jim Webster remembers Ogilvie as committed to helping all kinds of Kimberley events.

"He was always a big, but quiet supporter of the orienteering club and our events including the 2010 North American Orienteering Championships and Round the Mountain," Webster said.  "He would often just appear and offer to help out. I never knew how he was always able to know what was going on in the community but he just seem to.  He just heard about it and showed up and offered to help.  I had a lot of positive feedback about that from out of town visitors. "Our mayor would never do that" was something I heard a number of times.  He has also a key driver in making the Rails to Trails happen."

Councillor Albert Hoglund served on Council for 20 years with Ogilvie.

“What can you say about him?” Hoglund said. “He was a patriarch and great supporter of Kimberley. He was a unique person to Kimberley in my mind.

“It’s very sad. He did well for Kimberley, not just in politics, but for the community. He was involved in minor hockey with his kids for years. If anyone can be called a total citizen, it was Jim Ogilvie.”

Ogilvie first served as Commissioner for the Village of Marysville in 1965 and then as Alderman during the 1968 amalgamation of the City of Kimberley with the villages of Chapman Camp and Marysville. Ogilvie was instrumental in the transition period of Marysville and Kimberley during the amalgamation. In 1972, he successfully ran for Mayor of Kimberley. With a break of only three years, Jim Ogilvie served the City of Kimberley for a period of 36 years as Mayor.

A Lifetime of Achievement

Jim Ogilvie leaves a tremendous legacy from his almost 50 years of service to Kimberley. He received numerous awards and honours, oversaw Kimberley’s transition into the Bavarian City of the Rockies, then from mining to tourism.

With Ogilvie as Mayor in 1986, the City took over the responsibility of the Kimberley Ski Resort and, as a further step in 1994, developed the Trickle Creek Golf Resort.

The City in turn sold the Ski Resort, Trickle Creek Golf Resort and development properties to Resorts of the Canadian Rockies and since that time, new development in the City has continued in abundance. The City also developed Bootleg Gap Golf Course (a 27 hole course), and the new Riverside Campground located adjacent to St. Mary River, also came during Ogilvie’s tenure. 2010 saw the completion of the Rails to Trails project, a paved walking, biking, scenic trail connecting Cranbrook and Kimberley as well as the opening of the Kimberley Conference & Athlete Training Centre,

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