A long-serving municipal council member in New Hazelton has passed away.
Pieter Weeber Sr. was on the first-ever New Hazelton council when it attained municipal government status in Dec. 1980 and has been either a councillor or the village's mayor ever since.
He passed away early this morning with family members by his side.
Weeber was drawn to the area because of its forestry industry and was soon engaged in civic matters.
But he was also highly regarded for his knowledge of the northwest.
“That man could walk every inch of the forest land from here to the Yukon border,” said current New Hazelton mayor Gail Lowry.
She said he was particularly appreciative of Canada because of being liberated by Canadian soldiers as a youngster in Holland during the Second World War.
“He was just so proud to be a Canadian,” said Lowry.
Weeber served as New Hazelton mayor for 17 years over two periods – from December 1984 to November 1986 and from December 1996 to November 2011.
He was also the New Hazelton representative on the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine for years.
Weeber also ventured into federal politics, running second as the Progressive Conservative candidate to New Democratic incumbent Jim Fulton in 1984.
Born May 13, 1936, Weeber was 77.
Here is a last message prepared by Pieter Weeber Sr.
Farewell to the Hazeltons
When you are about to die you find yourself reflecting on the things that are important to you. As a person who likes to have the final word I am pleased to take this opportunity to stand at the podium one last time.
I have met many people during my days in the northwest and have been blessed with an amazing family and many good friends. It would take months to say goodbye to everyone I call a friend so consider this my final farewell to you all.
When I arrived in New Hazelton 35 years ago, I quickly felt a connection to the community and knew I would spend my life here.
I had the great honour of serving the District of New Hazelton as mayor and councillor for over 33 years. I am very proud of the work that our elected officials and staff have done to ensure our community made it through the difficult times.
I loved my life in the Hazeltons and had many great adventures exploring the back country, hunting for mushrooms, cutting firewood, picking berries and working in the garden.
I have faced many challenges in life but none bigger than my battle with cancer. I would never have made it as far as I did without the immeasurable support of my children.
I took great joy in my final years doing all of my favourite activities and spending time with my children and grandchildren.
I have lived life on my own terms with no regrets and died surrounded by the ones I love.
My advice to you all (if you have the stones) is to stand up for what you believe in, get involved in your community, don't hold a grudge and support your children because they will be running the place when us old folks are gone.
Pieter Weeber Sr.,
AKA Mushroom Pete,
New Hazelton, BC