Former Smithers mayor. councillor and farmhand Jim Davidson passed away on Tuesday, June 30th.

Jim became a town councillor in the mid-80s before serving over 4 terms as Mayor beginning in 1990.

Jim was involved with the new arena planning, airport acquisition, and bringing the old milk plant to town, among many other things.

Town Councillor and long time friend Bill Goodacre says Jim will be greatly missed.

“I mean, you can’t just think of all the wonderful things that he did in the time that he was here. [He was] just 100% dedicated to the community,” he said, “he’s just going to leave a really big hole to fill.”

Current Mayor Taylor Bachrach also has fond memories of Jim.

“In 2008, there was a municipal conference here in Smithers and at the time we were honouring Hazelton Mayor Alice Maitland for 40 years in local government. There was a reception and people were getting up and speaking about Alice. Jim got up and spoke and what he said was pretty powerful.

“He told a story about the 1980’s and some controversy over forestry near Hazelton and how Alice had stood up for her community and the other mayors hadn’t supported her. Basically, Jim said “We were wrong” and that he was wrong. I think that just showed a tremendous amount of integrity and you could’ve heard a pin drop in the hall.”

Bachrach also shared another, more recent, story.

“In January, when we had the opening for the new arena. I think Jim was already failing a bit at the point, but he was a donour for the project and it was wonderful to see him out.
We brought him out onto the ice on the red carpet and he was sitting with the other donours and then he got up to speak. He wasn’t on the program, but he wanted an opportunity to talk to the community about the arena.

“There was just this incredible moment when it felt liek the whole audience were holding him in this incredible embrace and they gave him a huge round of applause. It just showed their love for the man.

That’s on of the things I’ll remember.”

The town flags will be flying at half-mast this week in Jim’s honour.

Jim was 83 years old.