After 24 years as Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation (RCFC) Chair, Geoff Battersby is stepping down. On Wednesday, December 13th friends and family gathered at the Explorers Society Hotel to celebrate Battersby and his many accomplishments within the RCFC.
“Geoff is one of the reasons our forest industry is what it is in Revelstoke. In the middle of the forestry mecca, roughly 92% of our raw logs were being processed out of market, the other 8% was processed in town. Geoff changed all that.” Mayor Mark McKee told the Revelstoke Current.
In 1992/93, Battersby along with Doug Weir, were instrumental in facilitating the RCFC by connecting Cascade Cedar, Downie Timber and Kozak Sawmills in partnership with the City of Revelstoke.
“The City put in one-million, we borrowed one-million from the RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) and all three sawmills kicked in one-million in combination which allowed us to purchase the tree farm licence.” Former Mayor Geoff Battersby said when asked about his role in this legacy. “It is really rewarding for it to work out the way we wanted for it to work out in the first place.”
After many years of due diligence and effort from numerous members of the RCFC, It had a $300,000 surplus,which has been designated to a legacy fund that will be filtered back into the community through sponsorships and community projects.
“Certain criteria will be put into place so it does not just go into general revenue for the City.” McKee was happy to share.
Numerous members of the audience stood on the staircase to share a few words in regards to their relationship and respect they have for Battersby. Mark McKee was his usual on the fly smooth speaker; Gail Bernacki had some good quick wit anecdotes; Dave Raven had a deep, historical touch to his story; Nick Arkle was humble and honest and Jack Heavenor said what everyone was thinking.
“Geoffs’ leadership is one of the reasons we have a forest industry here today.”
An overwhelmed Battersby addressed the crowd and made a heartfelt thanking of his wife; Gwen Battersby, honouring her patience over the years while he was at various business meetings or at work.
“You don’t realize how much time you spend away from your family until you finally have the time.” Battersby humbly admitted to the audience.
Geoff Battersby has certainly earned the right to sit back and enjoy what he helped create. He has made this community a better place, and now it is time to enjoy his bike riding, socializing with friends and of course, some much needed time with his arm around his lovely lady.
Among many of his other accomplishments, Geoff Battersby was named to the Order of Canada in 2016.