North Cowichan remembers George Seymour

(North Cowichan, BC) – North Cowichan Council and staff are remembering George Seymour, a long-time North Cowichan resident, public servant, and former member of council, who passed away on April 11. In recognition of his long and faithful public service and significant contributions to North Cowichan, George was honoured as a Freeman of the Municipality in 2015.

George was elected to North Cowichan Council in 1996 and served for 15 years, and nine years on the Board of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD). He was the long-time chair of the Technical Planning Committee and participant in the Advisory Planning Committee. George was a key player in North Cowichan’s 2002 Official Community Plan (OCP) as well as the OCP adopted in 2011. He was a strong supporter of agriculture in the valley, an advocate for the Cowichan Theatre, and instrumental in bringing the Cowichan Branch of the Vancouver Regional Library to the Cowichan Community Centre property. George also had the foresight to convince the CVRD Board to plan financially for the new Cowichan District Hospital by implementing a reserve fund policy which helped facilitate the purchase of the property for the new hospital, and continues to be used today as the hospital capital expenditure plan is developed.

“George was a true community leader and quintessential public servant,” said Mayor Al Siebring. ”I can recall being very impressed and – honestly – somewhat intimidated by him when I was first elected in 2008, but he was a gracious colleague, always willing to mentor the new councillors, and provide both procedural and practical advice. His policy positions were both principled and pragmatic, always taking into account both his personal values and the broader good of the community.”

George spent his career in the Canadian Foreign Service, representing Canada in Vietnam, The Hague, Sri Lanka, Washington D.C., Singapore, and Malaysia. He acted on Canada’s behalf in challenging and high-profile situations including as High Commissioner during his Singapore and Malaysia postings.

When George retired from the federal government he moved home to the Cowichan Valley and got involved in the community and land use policies. In 1997, he and his wife joined other local residents to save a historic property full of Garry Oak trees, which has evolved into the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, now managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

George is survived by his wife Mrs. Marie-Claire Seymour.

North Cowichan flags are flying at half-mast in recognition of Mr. Seymour’s passing.


Media Contact:         
Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan