A former Kitimat municipal politician who spent 27 years on council, including four as mayor, has passed away.
Ray Brady died Dec. 31, 2017 at the age of 73.
His municipal career spanned periods of time over four decades, beginning with a first election as alderman in 1973 and ending with his retirement from active political life in 2008.
Brady’s four years of mayor took place between 1985 and 1988.
Decidedly on the left of the political spectrum, Brady is remembered for advancing local issues and taking strong stands on specific matters of municipal and other concerns.
Another former Kitimat mayor and councillor, Joanne Monaghan, who spent a combined 37 years on council herself, remembers Brady as having a strong voice and strong opinions.
“What I can say is that he was passionate about his beliefs and he would fight for them,” said Monaghan.
Current Kitimat councillor Rob Goffinet, first elected to council in 2009 after Brady retired, recalled his friendship with Brady dating back to the mid-1970s, saying he was committed to the community.
“He was very passionate and that passion came out totally in his time on council,” Goffinet remembered. “He was a unique individual and in his work could be independent of Kitimat council.”
Malcolm Baxter, a former Northern Sentinel editor who covered Brady closely over the years, said Brady was someone who knew how to raise issues.
“It was 1996 and one of the first council meetings I covered after returning to Kitimat as editor of the Sentinel,” said Baxter.
“There wasn’t anything too exciting on the agenda and everything was progressing nicely with the seemingly straightforward renewal of the agreement between the city and youth soccer association regarding use and maintenance of the fields on Quatsino next up.
“Then Brady glanced my way and gave me what I called ‘the look’, a silent signal that things were going to get interesting.
“And having ensured I was paying attention, Ray cut loose.
“The details of his presentation are lost in the mists of time but it made for a lively debate and a great story. And showed me that he certainly knew how to get ‘ink’.”
Baxter also noted that left-leaning Brady, as a councillor, would often disagree with then-mayor and right-leaning Rick Wozney over how the district should be administered with former municipal manager Trafford Hall being a focal point.
“Whether you agreed with Brady’s point of view or not, there was no denying he was passionate about what he believed in and was prepared to fight for it,” said Baxter.
In a statement last week, the District of Kitimat extended its condolences to the Brady family.
“We would like to recognize and commend his commitment to improving our community, which is exemplified by the 27 years he served as a member of council, including four years as mayor. Ray leaves behind a legacy that will not be forgotten, and he will truly be missed by many,” the statement added.
Born in Portsmouth, England, Brady came to Canada with his family at the age of 13.
He lived in Kitimat from 1957 onward, working first at Shop Easy and SuperValu before taking an apprenticeship to become an electrician.
A service will be held Feb. 3, 2018 at the Kitimat Catholic Church.’