One of the good guys

One Man's Opinion
By Doug Collins
April 16, 2017 - 5:00am

He was one of the good guys. John Dormer passed away this weekend at the age of 72. My association with John started when he was a representative for the then- B.C. Tel. He would pop into the newsroom with that big smile of his, pretty much lighting up the room as he would say something like “How are we doing today?” He was larger than life in many ways. His energy was infectious and he was always able to take a negative and look at it from the other side. I got to know John a bit more on a personal level as well. We met on the soccer field, as I had the privilege of coaching his son David for a year when my son and his were on the same team. And because both of us lived in Valleyview at the time, and our kids attended the same high school, Sue and I got to see John and Marj at various events at the school too. As he moved forward, and decided to run for Mayor, we talked a lot about some of his thoughts about what he could do as the Mayor of Kamloops. He had big dreams and both he and I shared the thought that residents of Kamloops had made a mistake in voting down a proposed arena/conference centre for the City. We both felt it was a real need, and after he became Mayor, it was a big part of his legacy to see that the facility came to be, which it did. But more than that, John’s legacy to me was his outstanding desire for Kamloops to be a better place, a more enjoyable place to live and raise a family. John didn’t always please everyone. As a major player in the Kamloops Exploration Group, John was a major lobbyist for mining interests. But even those who disagreed with his views couldn’t deny that his overriding interest was what he thought was the best interests of the community. John loved his family, and I remember a few times when we would talk over a coffee, how he felt so strongly it was what made him better, and he carried that with him till the end. We didn’t see each other a lot in recent years, but when we did, it was like we were back talking about our kids, about our thoughts for our City, and about what it meant to be a resident of one of the best cities in the province. John Dormer was one of the good guys, and whenever I think of him, I will remember that big smile, that good humour and that big laugh that you couldn’t help but like. He will be missed by those of us who knew him.