Branchfower, Cliff

Branchfower, Cliff

Cliff was born in Simpson, Saskatchewan on January 29. He worked at various newspapers in before coming to Kamloops in 1956.
First elected a School Trustee in 1962, he served on the Board of District 24 for 15 years and was elected Chairman five times. Cliff was elected Alderman in 1980 and served on council for 11 years before becoming Mayor in 1991. He was re-elected in 1993 and 1996.
In other public service, Cliff was on the boards of the TNRD (17 years), the Cariboo/Thompson Nicola Library Board (five years), Cariboo College, Royal Inland Hospital, Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, Kamloops Foundation, Overlander Hospital, and the B.C. Municipal Insurance Association for varying periods of time.
Cliff and his wife Ruth have been active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1962, and following his retirement from office in 1999, the couple served as missionaries for the church in Thailand for 18 months. (from Wally Branchflower)

Matthews, Meryl

Matthews, Meryl

Meryl Matthews (Wain) was born on October 16, 1911 in Kamloops and has lived her entire life here. During the Second World War, she worked in the medical corps. After the war, she went to work at the Sentinel Newspaper she became women’s page editor, and later the city editor. In 1948, she married Fred Matthews. From 1963 to 1972 they ran the MM Garden Shop downtown from April to June. Meryl Matthews is a Charter member of the Kamloops Garden Club and Soroptimist International of Kamloops. She was elected alderman in 1972 before the 1973 amalgamation and re-elected twice after amalgamation. She served on numerous boards and was the first woman to receive the Freeman of the City Award. She currently resides at Cariboo Manor, a seniors care facility, in Westsyde. What a lady! … a Kamloops politician, volunteer and gardener extraordinaire. (from Rachel Long)

Singh, Gur

Singh, Gur

Dr Gur Singh is a dedicated member of British Colombia’s medical community. He established the first Neurosurgical Unit in the Interior of B.C., as well as the first Neuro Intensive Care Unit. He served on the Board of British Columbia Medical Association for 15 years. Gur was President of the British Columbia Medical Association from 1991-1992. As president of the Downtown Rotary Club, Gur initiated the smoking awareness program for elementary grades in the Kamloops School District. In 1992, Gur was awarded the Canada 125 Anniversary Commemorative Medal, and in 2002 he was awarded the Queens Jubilee Medal.

Gur has been active in the Kamloops Tennis Association serving as its president. Gur sponsored the men’s doubles Dalin-Singh Tournament, along with Bill Dalin, now in its 20th year.

In 2004, Gur helped raise $17,000 for the Kamloops Brain Injury Association through the First Annual Gur Singh Invitational Golf Tournament. (from Arjun Singh)

Fulton, Davie

Fulton, Davie

Edmund Davie Fulton was born on Mar 10, 1916 in Kamloops and died on May 22, 2000 in Vancouver. As a UBC student he won a Rhodes scholarship (1937) to study at Oxford.

During WWII he served overseas with the Seaforth Highlanders, then returned to Kamloops to practice law.

Fulton was first elected to Parliament as a Conservative in 1945 when he was only 30 years old. When the Tories formed a minority government the next year, he served in the cabinet as minister of justice from 1957 to 1962. During this period he was the chief federal negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty. In 1962 he also served briefly as minister of public works.

Fulton briefly headed the BC Conservative Party. He became the first chair of the BC Law Reform Commission. From 1973 he served as a judge on the BC Supreme Court and was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1992. (from B.C. Encyclopedia)

Cartwright, Kenna

Cartwright, Kenna

Kenna was born on June 4, 1938 and died in Kamloops on July 26, 1991. She grew up on an orchard in Oyama, B.C. and married John in 1960. They had two sons and moved to Kamloops in 1967.

Her political career included:

Three terms school trustee.
Member Cariboo College Board.
Voted Kamloops’ Woman of the Year.
Six years as Alderman.
Kamloops’ first female Mayor.
Kenna succeeded in making Kamloops a better place to live. Her popularity amongst voters was confirmed that she was a sincere servant of the people.

She was instrumental in:

Promoting Kamloops as Tournament Capital of B.C.
Building Riverside Coliseum.
Bringing the 1993 Summer Games to Kamloops.
She was very concerned about environmental issues and was a strong advocate for water and air quality in our community.

She always encouraged people, including herself, to be the best they could be. (from Stu Cartwright)

Smith, John Freemont

Smith, John Freemont

Photo compliments of the Kamloops Museum

Best-known as the first alderman of black ancestry in B.C., John Freemont Smith was an active promoter of Kamloops and founder of many civic organizations.

Born in 1850 in the Danish West Indies, John Freemont Smith arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1872, where he married. In 1884 the Smiths came to Kamloops, opening a shoe store. Soon after they settled at Louis Creek where John spearheaded mineral exploration in the North Thompson Valley.

Back to Kamloops in 1890, Smith became a newspaper editor and helped to found the Kamloops Agricultural Association (1895), the Conservative Association (1898), and the Board of Trade (1902), among other organizations. He was an alderman on Kamloops City Council (1902-1907) and Indian Agent for the Kamloops District (1912-23).

The Freemont (sic) Block in the 200 block Victoria Street was his office where he died at age 84 in1934. (from Ken Favrholdt)

Rothenburger, Mel

Rothenburger, Mel

Mel was born in 1944 and raised in the Okanagan Valley, Mel Rothenburger is a descendant of Hudson’s Bay Company Factor Donald McLean of Fort Kamloops. Rothenburger most notably became editor of the Kamloops Daily News. Having known former Kamloops mayor and evangelist Phil Gaglardi since Gaglardi was a controversial Social Credit cabinet minister in 1970, Rothenburger wrote a biography of the ex-Highways Minister, Friend o’ Mine (Orca Books, 1991). Rothenburger’s earlier books were ‘We’ve Killed Johnny Ussher! The Story of The Wild McLean Boys and Alex Hare (Mitchell Press, 1973)’ and The Chilcotin War. The father of the ‘Wild McLeans’–Allan, Charlie and Allan; some of the most notorious outlaws in B.C. history–was the HBC Factor Donald McLean. He was Mayor of Kamloops, from 200 to 2005 and returned the Kamloops Daily news until retiring in 2012. Rothenburger continued to write columns for The Daily News until it ceased publication Jan. 11, 2014, does regular commentary for CBC Radio and writes a blog at http://armchairmayor.wordpress.com .

Mair, Rafe

Mair, Rafe

Rafe was a lawyer, politician, broadcaster (b 31 Dec 1931, Vancouver). After graduating from UBC law school he was called to the bar in 1961 and practised law in Vancouver and Kamloops from 1961 to 1975. He entered politics as a Kamloops alderman in 1973 and in 1975 won election to the provincial legislature as a Social Credit Party member for that city. He held 3 posts in Premier Bill Bennett’s Cabinet. During much of this period he also handled the constitutional portfolio for the province. In 1981 he retired from politics to become host of his own radio talk show on CJOR in Vancouver. In 1984 he switched to CKNW, where he emerged as one of the liveliest, most outspoken broadcasters in Canada. His show became the highest rated single-market talk show in the country, and he was credited with influencing opinion on major public issues. (from B.C. Encyclopedia)

Marchand, Len

Marchand, Len

Len was a scientist, politician (b 16 Nov 1933, Vernon). A graduate of UBC (1959) and the University of Idaho (1964), he was an agricultural research scientist at the Kamloops Research Station from 1960 to 1965. He worked as special assistant to 2 federal cabinet ministers in Ottawa, then was elected Liberal MP for Kamloops-Cariboo in 1968-the first Aboriginal elected to Parliament since Louis Riel. In 1976 he became the first Aboriginal to serve in the federal cabinet when he was named minister of state for small business by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. After his defeat in the 1979 election, Marchand became administrator for the Nicola Valley Indian Administration in Merritt. He was named to the Senate in 1984, the same year he became honorary chief of the Okanagan Nation, and served until retiring in 1997. In 1999 he was named to the Order of Canada. (from B.C. Encyclopedia)

Riis, Nelson

Riis, Nelson

Nelson served Kamloops and region longer than any other politician, over 25 years continuous service as MP, Kamloops City Councilor, and School Board Trustee. He was M.P. for Kamloops (New Democratic Party). He has a B.Ed. and an M.A. in geography from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Riis has taught in schools, colleges, and universities. He was alderman on the Council of the City of Kamloops from 1973 to 1978, director of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and trustee for Kamloops School District from 1978 until his election to Parliament in 1980. After his election to Parliament, Riis has been the New Democratic Party’s spokesperson for Small Business, Regional Expansion, and Finance. Then he was Parliamentary House Leader for the Federal Caucus. Following his defeat in 2000 he entered business and is vice-president of Rockport which makes engineered concrete homes for the developing world. (From website)