Former Kelowna mayor Jim Stuart has died.
The city is flying its flags at half-mast in honour of the long-time mayor who served from 1986 through 1996. He also served as a chair on the RDCO from 1975 to 1990.
Stuart, the namesake of downtown Kelowna’s Stuart Park, saw the city’s growth from a primarily farm-based city to the economic centre it is today.
“As Kelowna goes through another extended period of expansion, I can imagine the pressures and the forethought mayor Stuart needed to call upon to steer the city from its past to its future,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “Change is never easy, and mayor Stuart guided the city through probably its biggest shift ever. I know it must have been difficult for him, but he always had the best interests of the city in mind and he guided his Council through many difficult decisions and directions.”
Stuart served on the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital Board for 29 years and the Kelowna General Hospital Board for 11 years. He was an executive member of the Municipal Finance Authority for 17 years, of which 12 were as chairman. He was also appointed to the B.C. Transit Authority for five years and served a one-year appointment to the Financial Institutions Commission.
He was awarded the City of Kelowna’s Freedom of the City award in 2001, the highest honour the City can bestow on a citizen, an honourary distinction only granted to 18 people since it was introduced in Kelowna in 1946.