DUNCAN — Former Duncan mayor Jim Quaife died at Cowichan District Hospital on the morning of Jan. 9 after a battle with cancer.
Predeceased by his brother Tony, he leaves behind his brothers John, Robert, David and sister Betty, his wife of almost
35 years, Marlene, five children and nearly twice that many grandchildren.
“Jim Quaife is, in a very real way, part of the reason I got involved in public life. I was just a kid when he became mayor back in 1967, and he is the very first public official that I can remember meeting,” said North Cowichan councillor Al Siebring.
“He was so gracious and down to earth that he made a real impression on me at that time. Not that I was very politically aware, but I sensed that he was someone who was committed to doing good for his community.”
Among many other achievements, Quaife is credited with forming Duncan Teen Town, the South Cowichan Recreation Commission and designing the suspension bridge at Bright Angel Park.
One thing stood out above the rest for him, however.
“My biggest thrill while Mayor of Duncan was hosting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip for the ‘laying of the cornerstone’ for the new seniors and library building in May of 1971. What an honour,” Quaife wrote on his blog.
In January 1979, Quaife married Marlene and went on to a number of business ventures. In 2008, he took another stab at local politics, but lost to current Mayor Phil Kent.