Seems I have been saying farewell to a number of well Kelowna characters of late – however few were/are better known than former politician and open-line radio host Barrie Clark.
Clark died last week at age 86.
A three terms Kelowna City Council member – you always knew where you stood with Barrie and he wasted little time assuring you his ‘place’ was the right place to be.
Former Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray told Wayne Moore of Castanet last week that Clark, “had very strong points of view, and not always on the majority side of the debate.” (I relate to that Barrie).
Gray also said one of Clark’s quirks, “was his belief public hearings should not go past 11 p.m.” (The Municipal Act dictates that a majority of council must vote in favour of a motion to extend meetings past 11 p.m.)
I knew Clark long before his Council days. Barrie grew up in the Valley and was a KSS grad.
Prior to his world in small town politics Clark was a popular, well known radio voice. He started in the industry in 1949 embarking on a radio career CKLG and CKWX in Vancouver.
While on the coast Clark eared his first scars in election wars and was enrolled in provincial politics as MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour in 1966 and again in 1969.
Like many of his cohorts he was kicked to the political curb in 1972 when the NDP swept the province popularity,
He then served on city council in North Vancouver before moving back to Kelowna, tossing away his political hat and grabbing back the microphone.
Soon after joining the feisty CKOV station in 1989 Clark began hosting a popular open-line show. There was rarely a dull moment.
However the political bug was more than Barrie could resist and in 1999 he ran for Kelowna City Council. He served three straight terms.
To this day tales of memorable times and tales (mostly humorous) are pontificated at City Hall revolving around the many antics and interesting moments shared with the unique man at the Council table.
He will be missed by Kelowna.
Speaking of missing someone in Kelowna, City Manager Ron Mattiussi attended his last public hearing before his retirement on Tuesday. Councillor Maxine DeHart did some quick math and concurred that during his 23 years at City Hall Ron attended 484 public hearings. With four hours average per hearing that tallies to 1,936 approximate hours or almost 55 weeks or 276.5 work days of public hearings. Dealing with intense folks for that long takes a toll.
I will miss your wit and wisdom Ron and the passion you had for your City and co-workers.
Best of wishes in your future endeavours.