A former town councillor, local historian and pillar of the community has passed away.
Harry Kruisselbrink served on council in the 1970s and was an active member of the community until his passing. He also enjoyed hiking and sharing the history of the town. He gave historical walking tours of Main Street in the summers with the Bulkley Valley Museum.
Museum curator Kira Westby said Kruisselbrink’s enthusiasm and love for Smithers was so genuine and heartfelt that you could not help but feel like you lived in the best town in the world when you heard him speak about it.
“He contributed so much to the museum, as an author, photographer, and researcher, as well as a past board member and advocate,” she added. “He was always excited to help me mine through The Interior News archives for some small detail about when or how something happened, or to analyze a photo in detail, squinting at tiny roof lines in the background to try to identify just what exactly we were looking at and when the photo was taken.”
Westby said some of her favourite memories will be of watching him present the downtown history walks, and seeing the “oh wow!” moments on people’s faces as they learned something new about the town.
“Even if it was a story I had heard many times before, there was just a distinct “Harry” way that he could tell it that would make it feel special each time,” she said.
The flags at town hall have been lowered to half-mast per Town of Smithers policy.
In a Facebook post, the Town offered condolences to Kruisselbrink’s family.
Both Harry and his wife Audrey immigrated to Canada from Holland following the Second World War. They met and married in Smithers and would have celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary this month.
Please see “A tale of two journeys: Couple united by fate in the Bulkley Valley” in the March 25, 2021 edition of The Interior News or on our website.