Councillor McPherson presented this speech at the most recent council meeting.
We as a council have decided to change Founders St. to Iles Way to honor Clay Iles for the dedication and passion he showed in helping Tumbler Ridge through its darkest days. The timing of this is perfect because we are now re-living some of those issues, some of which are not as serious now because of the way they were dealt with by Clay, his council and staff of the day.
Last meeting we gave final reading for the name change, after which we had a conference call with the University of Northern BC to talk over the things that council should be taking to the Province to help us out of our present situation.
Professor Greg Halseth who was then and still now is involved with rural communities, their development and problems was there. He talked about a meeting where then Premier Gordon Campbell had a speech in his pocket in which he was going to deliver the message “too bad, TR but the party’s over.”
Clay was first to speak. He made a passionate plea to the Premier to help us out, and as a result the speech that Premier Campbell had in his pocket was never delivered.
I could go on all night with stories like this but all I will say is that we might not be here talking about this today if it was not for Clay and his way. If you talk to Clay he will tell you council and staff made this possible but I am here to tell you that this man had so much passion for this town that it spilled over and made us all stronger and more determined. This honor is well deserved.